Family and sexual violence and its impact on families in Lae
In April 2018, as part of a research project into family and sexual violence (FSV), we interviewed women from a range of communities in Lae, PNG’s second largest city. In this blog, we share some insights from the stories we heard relating to the financial pressures women face because of violence, and the impact of that violence on families and the next generation(s). Financial hardship is widespread, and impacts both on women’s ability to access justice services, and also upon their ability to leave violent relationships and still support themselves and educate their children.
Violence and financial hardship
49 of the 71 women who came to see us (55 from informal settlements, 15 from formal residential areas, and one from a rural area) were the victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) (Figure 1). For 20 of these 49 women, their experience of IPV also involved other people, such as the husband’s other partner. In 16 cases, the perpetrator was not an intimate partner but another family member, such as a son. Most women (36 out of 49) experiencing IPV remained in the abusive relationship (the orange bar), and indeed many expressed a determination to continue in the relationship.
Figure 1: Participants experiencing or who have experienced FSV (N=71)
With or without violence, most of the women we interviewed live precarious lives. They had low educational backgrounds, earned low incomes, and worked in the informal sector. 42 per cent earned less than K100 a fortnight. 60 per cent worked on a tebol maket (table market) or haus maket (house market), the common references to small market stalls, selling goods outdoors near their homes.
Of the 49 women who suffered violence at the hands of their intimate partner, including IPV that involved other people, 71 per cent related experiences about how violence led …read more