New research released on family protection orders in Papua New Guinea

Bilums from PNG

New research is now available on the use and efficacy of family protection orders in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The research found that the majority of women taking out an interim protection order felt safer as a result, however there are times in the process that are riskier than others, and hence domestic violence survivors require ongoing and long-term support.

The study also found a large degree of variability in terms of accessibility of orders across the seven sites, which was largely dependent on magistrates’ knowledge and attitudes rather than other factors such as the size of the town or city.

The research is the first of its kind in PNG that specifically looks at how family protection orders are working following the introduction of PNG’s watershed domestic violence legislation, the Family Protection Act, in 2013.

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 took place across seven locations and involved 25 local researchers and research assistants. Consultations took place with 140 stakeholders, 118 family protection order applicants were interviewed and 180 young adults were surveyed to understand their attitudes towards domestic violence. Research team members also observed court hearings and analysed data from police, courts and specialist domestic violence services.

The findings of the project are available in the below report and summary report.

Family Protection Orders in Papua New Guinea

Family Protection Orders in Papua New Guinea: Summary Report

Additional reports are available on themes relating to the research project:

Family Protection Orders: Court Processes in Papua New Guinea

Domestic Violence and Family Law in Papua New Guinea

Domestic Violence, the Law and Related Services in Papua New Guinea: A Survey of Young Adults in Port Moresby and Lae

Domestic Violence in Papua New Guinea: A Case Study from Boroko District Court, Port Moresby

Site reports have also been prepared which detail the unique situations relating to family protection orders in select locations: Port Moresby, Lae, Popondetta, Mount Hagen, Minj and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. These are available by contacting the authors, Judy Putt or Lindy Kanan.

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, exploring the collaborative approach and findings of the final report and illustrating how FPOs can be obtained. They can be viewed here.

The research project was supported by the government of Australia in partnership with the government of Papua New Guinea as part of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Program, the Justice Services and Stability for Development Program and the Pacific Research Program.