A study on the use and efficacy of protection orders as a key response to domestic and family violence in Papua New Guinea

Family Protection Orders


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 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


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 here.

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 forthcoming. The symposium revealed that the policy and practical challenges experienced in PNG regarding family protection orders were also being experienced across the region.

Lead researcher
Dr Judy Putt

Other contributors
Ms Lindy Kanan
Ms Geejay Milli (University of Papua New Guinea)
Dr Francis B. Essacu (PNG University of Technology)
NGO’s: Femili PNG, Voice for Change, FHI360, Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation