blog / Thank You, ‘Haus Krai’ anti-violence activists

Fri, 29 May, 2015

Thank You, ‘Haus Krai’ anti-violence activists

In our last Stella blog post, we put the spotlight on Haus Krai - an international day of mourning and call to action for the victims of gender violence. We were moved to see so many - women, men, children, whole families - get involved in demonstrations this year. Planning for 2016 events is already underway - get involved!

 

On the 14th & 15th of May, people gathered in Samberigi Village (Southern Highlands), Pimaga (Southern Highlands), Angore Village (Southern Highlands), Goroka, Lihir, Kikori Town (Gulf Province), Kokopo (East New Britain), Canberra (Australia), Brisbane (Australia) and Washington D.C (USA).

The purpose was to come together for Haus Krai - an international day of mourning for the victims of gender violence (read more here). Haus Krai participants came together to commemorate the victims of violence against women and children in the Pacific, and highlight the specific actions and services that are needed to ensure the safety of all people within our families and communities.

In Lihir, close to two thousand people - and more men than ever before - gathered for the Island’s third Stop Work Peaceful Protest March

Amongst the male speakers at the event was Newcrest General Manager Craig Jetson, who noted that all the men in the audience, by their presence, were saying enough is enough - and implored that they can change the future of PNG. Jordan Sakane and Wilfred Saba from the Family Sexual violence Unit spoke about the increase of victims reporting offences to the police and the rise of counseling services and arrests - with an increase of 100% for this current year.

There has been some progress in certain areas, but the bulk of the work is yet to be done. Vagi Hemetsberger, Lihir Ailan Haus Krai Committee representative and FSVAC (Family Sexual Violence Action Committee) interim chairperson also spoke. She reduced the strong crowd of men and women to visible tears, with her impassioned speech of stories of horrific gender based violence within her family and the community. Vagi reminded all marchers:

“I love Papua New Guinea, and I love the people of Papua New Guinea, and it hurts to see what we ourselves are doing to this nation. Lets each of us, be the change we want to see in PNG.”

Read the full transcript of Vagi's powerful speech here.

 

Today we’re sharing just some images from Haus Krai 2015 demonstrations - and say thank you to all who were involved. We must be vigilant in working together to eliminate violence against women and children in our communities.

A sincere thank you to Vagi Hemetsberger for images of the Lihir event (snapped by Michelle Bawden), and The Leniata Legacy Facebook page for letting us share images of the Brisbane event (snapped by D Ephraim). Like them on Facebook to stay informed and find out ways you can contribute to the movement to end violence against women and children in our region.

The Leniata Legacy represents an international movement sparked after the brutal murder of Kepari Leniata on 6 February 2013 in Papua New Guinea - after which the Haus Krai movement was born. The organisation and movement believes that gender-based violence is a disease that cannot survive in certain conditions, so takes a “holistic approach to plant many seeds that have the potential to make gender-crime a thing of the past”. 

This approach involves five (5) pillars: Awareness, Advocacy, Charity, Education and Empowerment.

To find out more about The Leniata Legacy, visit:

www.leniatalegacy.com

 

WORDS by Pauline Vetuna.

 

Image 1-5: Lihir Haus Krai 2015. Photo credit: Michelle Bawden.

Image 6-10: Brisbane Haus Krai 2015. Photo credit: D Ephraim.

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