Blinded by policeman husband
How bai yu tanim bek na paitim na brukim displa pes yu bin laikim na maritim?
We Papua New Guineans, make excuses for wife-bashers. We say "it's a family problem" and we shouldn't get involved. But look at what it is doing to us as a society! Its causing children to accept that violence is a way of life. We complain about assaults and killings but not domestic violence. What is wrong with us??
Blinded for life
A young mother is completely blind because of injury inflicted by her abusive policeman husband in a violent three-year marriage that ended in November last year. She is Elsie, who lives at the Bumbu Police Barracks in Lae with her family. Her father is also a policeman based in Lae. A mother of a beautiful nine-month-old baby girl, Elsie was forced to flee from her home at the Taraka Police Barracks, at the outskirts of Lae city, where she lived with her rogue cop husband and fled from him to live with her parents at the Bumbu Police Barracks.
Her tale is similar to that of another young mother, Joy Wartovo who bravely went public with her story of suffering abuse, beatings and burns from her police husband in December last year. In the case of Elsie, the three years of marriage to this member of the Lae Police Task Force was, like Joy’s marriage, hell on earth.
Of all the beatings and abuse she received at the hands of her husband, Elsie had to put up with them for the sake of their child but the last attack on the 28 November 2010, changed her life completely.
In one of his jealous rages, the policeman husband attacked Elsie and threw his mobile phone at her, hitting her in her right eye.
Elsie had only one good eye. When she was in grade six in school, she was playing with her friends and had a freak accident, which resulted in her losing sight in her left eye completely. She had depended on her right eye, which became the target of her husband’s rage.
PNG has a high incidence of gender-based violence Photo: David Swanson/IRIN
By Cuma PNG (Facebook Post)
PNGADV started as a facebook page out of frustration at thelack of action, on the part of Police, to the horrendous violence that one of their officers had habitually practiced against a young woman and mother, Joy Wartovo, inside the Police Barracks at Gordons for over 6 years. Within 3 days it had over 5,000 members.
Cuma-PNG was one of the first members and was made an"administrator" of the page on the first day. I vividly remember being glued to my computer day and night just to add members as the requests flooded in.
Whilst many joined simply because they were against DV; it became evident within the first few days that many were victims themselves or abusers, and had nowhere to turn for advice and support. Some were not even aware that it was against PNG Law and International Laws to physically abuse a spouse.
There was an overwhelming sense of relief that finally someone was speaking up about Family Violence and saying, "Hey, this is WRONG".