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(L-R) Julien Barbara (DPA), Lindy Kanan (DPA), Judy Putt (DPA), Saskias Tameo (PNG Deputy High Commissioner), photo by Tanuj Parakh, DPA
To celebrate International Women’s Day in 2021, the Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) at The Australian National University launched a series of short films from the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Family Protection Order (FPO) Research Project. After the films were screened, the Deputy High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea, Mr Sakias Tameo, closed the formal proceedings by remarking that the films were important in highlighting the issue of domestic violence in PNG. He also acknowledged the critical efforts of partner organisations working to support survivors of domestic violence in PNG.
The films were produced by DPA with the help of independent researchers and a filmmaker working across several sites in PNG, and researchers from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Femili PNG, and Voice for Change. The films explore the collaborative research approach and key findings of the final report and illustrate how FPOs can be obtained. They can be viewed on the DPA YouTube channel here.
The FPO Research Project
Funded by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea as part of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program and the Justice Services and Stability for Development program, as well as through the Pacific Research Program, the DPA-led research project assessed the efficacy of FPOs in seven locations locations in PNG with fieldwork conducted over 2019-2020. The research included interviews with survivors, a survey of young adults, and analysis of available statistics recorded by police, the courts and specialist family and sexual violence services. DPA research partners assisted in the seven sites, including independent researchers and staff of Femili PNG, Voice for Change, FHI360, the University of Papua New Guinea and the PNG University of Technology.
What are FPOs?
Restraining or protection orders are used across the world as an important tool to prevent or reduce domestic and family violence. In PNG FPOs were introduced under the Family Protection Act 2013. The aim is to improve the safety of applicants by making it clear that certain behaviours are not allowed, and that the respondent has to comply with certain conditions. If these conditions are breached, a criminal charge can be laid. The orders act as warning to perpetrators and signal that the state does not condone domestic and family violence in any circumstance.