First research into protection orders: efficiency is improving in Lae

A new report from Femili PNG and the Australian National University (ANU) shows that the issuing of protection orders by the Lae District Court is becoming more efficient. The data, was collected by Femili PNG and analysed by the ANU, covered almost three years from August 2014 to May 2018. The data showed that the average time taken to get an interim protection order (IPO) is 15.9 days. Almost one fifth (18%) were issued on the same day, and around half (51%) were issued within a week.

Family protection orders were introduced in PNG in 2014 when the Family Protection Act was enacted. They are a legal intervention widely used around the world with the intention of reducing the risk of future harm by a family member considered to be a threat to another.

The data also found that in Lae, the uptake of IPOs has been increasing, with more issued in 2017 than 2015 and 2016. It also showed that in 2017 a higher number of IPOs were converted to the longer term protection orders. Mr Robin Bazzinuc, Deputy Chair of the Morobe Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee said “this data analysis is very useful, it shows us what we have done and also what we can do better”.

While the data shows that the process of issuing protection orders in Lae is improving, more research is needed to understand how effective they are in improving the safety of the survivors.

Femili PNG is a local Papua New Guinea non-government organisation that operates Family and Sexual Violence Case Management Centres in Lae and Port Moresby. The Case Management Centres provides survivors of family and sexual violence with help to access the support they need. This includes counselling, legal protections, welfare and emergency housing. The Case Management Centres work with other service providers such as the police, health services, courts and safe houses to find solutions for high-risk and complex cases. It is substantially funded by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative.

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