Most Pacific Island countries have enacted domestic violence legislation and most include Protection Orders to prevent and reduce domestic and family violence. In Papua New Guinea, Family Protection Orders (FPOs) were introduced by the Family Protection Act which was passed by parliament in 2013. Australian National University (ANU) researchers, Dr Judy Putt, Ms Theresa Phillips, Ms Davida Thomas and Ms Lindy Kanan have published findings from a pilot research project in Lae that explores the effectiveness and accessibility of FPOs since their introduction. The report ‘Family Protection Orders: A Key Response To Domestic And Family Violence. A Pilot Study In Lae’ was conducted with the support and advice from members of the Morobe Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee.
For a briefer and more summarised version of the report, three In-Briefs have been published. Part 1 focuses on whether there are improvements in Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) victims’ access to justice through the introduction of protection orders. Part 2 examines whether the orders have contributed to victims’ being or feeling safer. Part 3 identifies the factors that were found to affect the accessibility and effectiveness of the orders.
The report also draws from the data presented by the Femili PNG Case Management Centre. The research team analysed the data from almost three years from the Femili PNG Case Management Centre in Lae and met with justice service providers and women who have taken out protection orders. The data showed that the uptake of interim protection orders is increasing and that the time taken to issue family protection orders is decreasing on average but that there is still more to do to improve the safety of survivors of family and domestic violence.