IB 2020/23 Sexual Violence Against Children in Papua New Guinea: What the Criminal Justice Data Tells Us

Cover of In Brief 2020/23 Sexual Violence Against Children in Papua New Guinea: What the Criminal Justice Data Tells Us

Author/s (editor/s):

Judy Putt, Sinclair Dinnen

Publication year:

2020

Publication type:

In Brief

Sexual violence against children is a fraught, sensitive subject that is extremely difficult to raise without potentially causing further harm. As such, only a minority of incidents are reported to police. Still, cases are regularly brought to the attention of child protection authorities and police, as well as local community leaders and various justice fora. We do not have a clear picture of the consequences and outcomes from such reporting. This In Brief draws on a study undertaken in Papua New Guinea (PNG) last year in which we examined criminal justice responses to family and sexual violence (FSV). That study sheds some light on the kinds of cases brought to the attention of the authorities and the considerable challenges involved in reaching any kind of resolution through the criminal justice system. The consistently poor outcomes of sexual violence cases globally have been termed ‘the justice gap’, which is even more pronounced when the victims are children and the setting is a low-income country like PNG with seriously frayed and uneven service delivery.

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