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Something to ponder: How boys are brought up in PNG



PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea, when are we going to start raising our boys right?

The truth is, incidents involving PNG males abroad happen way more often than what ends up making it into news reports and it has been happening for years and years.

Many perpetrators are dumbfounded when called in by authorities, not thinking that what they did was wrong or a big deal. “I was drunk”, “I didn’t do anything, I only touched her”, “I was only taking pictures”….

The disproportionately high number of these type of incidents abroad makes me wonder just what our males are getting away with back here in PNG.

The reality is the culture of our society doesn’t make it easy for our women to file a report, there’s a tendency to sweep these things under mat, families will protect and their sons instead of allowing consequences.

These kinds of allegations aren’t taken as seriously and victim-blaming makes many PNG women to ashamed to even report, so basically it's an environment where perpetrators can offend and get away with it.

Even with this recent case there are PNG people on social media refusing to accept that this perpetrator is a Papua New Guinean, which is why I have included his picture along with the article.

Places like Australia have zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour, they take it seriously and they are resourced very well to deal with it, so our boys and men who are down there just doing what they think is “normal” sit with mouth open when they are caught out and try to plead innocence and the old “I didn’t know it was wrong”.

There needs to be an induction process or some sort of education process that our young males on student or sporting visas go through so they understand how to behave lawfully and respectfully and not bring this pekpek pasin to other countries.

For those who might want to get defensive about this post - Yes, not all PNG males do this - but certainly enough to indicate we have a serious problem.

AFL PNG needs to look at programs like Equal Playing Field and seek advice from them on how to address this problem. So does every organisation offering overseas scholarships to PNG students.

But really, ultimately, it’s up to our society in PNG as a whole to start expecting better from our young men and boys and to stop protecting them when they break the law for these kinds of crimes and against women.

Tania NugentIf we fix it here at home there is less worry about it happening when they go abroad.

If you are as ashamed of this as I am, don't sweep it under the mat, don't dismiss it by saying "not all PNG men". Let's face it and fix it.


Tania Nugent is managing director at Makoda Productions Limited and host of EMTV’s Point of View


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