Bell School prize for ‘Partnership, Impact and Engagement’ awarded to the research project on 'Family Protection Orders'

Dr Judy Putt with the award

The research project on 'The use and efficacy of family protection orders in PNG' has been awarded the Bell School prize for ‘Partnership, Impact and Engagement’. Across the world a crucial reform to address domestic and family violence has been protection or restraining orders that aim to provide immediate safety for victims and deter harmful behaviours. Very little evidence exists of how they have worked in diverse socio-cultural and political settings. This study in Papua New Guinea, led by Dr Judy Putt, found that the majority of women who had orders issued felt safer, but there remains considerable challenges especially in rural and remote areas The project was undertaken by the Australian National University’s Department of Pacific Affairs in conjunction with partners in PNG including the University of Papua New Guinea, the PNG University of Technology, Femili PNG, Voice for Change, FHI360 and the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation. 


The research builds on a pilot project that was undertaken in Lae in 2018. A series of three short films were developed as part of the research project, documenting the collaborative approach and findings of the final report and illustrating how FPOs can be obtained. The videos are both, in English and Tok Pisin language, and explain what a family protection order is and how to apply for one (audience: people in PNG experiencing DFV). One of the videos continues to be played on national TV in PNG. They can be viewed below.

Women working in and for justice

Family Protection Orders Explained (Tok Pisin with English subtitles)

Family Protection Orders Explained (English)

Other works based on the project

Based on this research, a submission was also made to the PNG Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender Based Violence which was referenced in the landmark report of the Committee to the PNG parliament (audience: PNG political leaders and policy makers).   
The research team partnered with a regional body, the Pacific Community (SPC) to co-convene a symposium on family protection orders (audience: DFV practitioners e.g. magistrates, police, civil society and policy makers across the Pacific region). The recordings are online and a report was published shortly after. The symposium revealed that the policy and practical challenges experienced in PNG regarding family protection orders were also being experienced across the region.