persons that cause them physical or emotional pain.
The best way to understand the impact of family violence is to observe what is happening around us.
For instance, wives are unfairly treated and children are deprived of their basic rights of love and
respect. Family violence involves the use of force by one person against another. Many people use
violence as a way of solving problems or protecting themselves. Wife beating, for instance, is a crime
in our country and it is a problem that will not stop if we ignore it.
Violence does not only occur within the family. Women and children are also at risk to sexual
violence outside of the family. Family violence does not just happen by accident or mistake. This
means it is a selfish way of controlling another person with threats or injury. There are ways it can be
According to the principles of Human Rights and our national PNG laws, wife beating is illegal. The
act is also morally wrong and against Christian teaching. Ideally speaking, a long-term marriage bond
should be one that develops out of love and respect for one another. Roles within the marriage
relationship should compliment each other. However, we know that this does not always happen.
Wife beating is common in our society and has become normal behaviour for many husbands. Wife
beating may occur because the wife does not do what her husband asks her to do; the husband is
drunk or high on drugs; or the husband is feeling guilty. Many husbands do not admit making
mistakes simply because of the cultural leadership and authority role they are expected to have over
The Papua New Guinea National Constitution doesn't allow men more freedom than women. The
Constitution calls for freedom from all forms of domination and oppression. A husband never has the
right to keep his wife under constant fear by threatening her. The payment of bride price is a cultural
obligation to strengthen bonds between the husband and wife’s clans and families. It is not a right to
take ownership over another person's life. Most PNG cultures are changing their traditional views of
bride price to be in line with the PNG National Constitution and the laws.
When there is domestic violence, it is usually the children who suffer the most and many will
permanent mental damage. Some will inflict domestic violence on their future partners. It can be a
vicious cycle. Rather than learning about the qualities of a good family, children learn about
violence, mistrust, disrespect, and hiding secrets.