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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (November 28, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Justice Minister Andrew Baing has begun to review existing criminal law and will recommend to Parliament the enactment of new legislation to protect Papua New Guinea women from domestic violence.

Mr. Baing will revisit recommendations contained in the Law Reform Commission’s final report on domestic violence as part of his review.

Speaking in Port Moresby Saturday to mark the International Day Against Violence Against Women, he said domestic violence is still a big problem although it was the main item on the agenda of the 1981 National Council of Women convention almost 20 years ago.

Following that convention, a request was submitted to the Law Reform Commission to investigate domestic violence in 1982. The commission produced a report that recommended amendments to the Evidence Act to make spouses approved witnesses in cases of assault by one partner on the other or children of the family.

Changes were also recommended to provide for a wider range of sentence options, to deter offenders without giving hardship to their families.

There were also recommendations for protection orders and to give police more powers to enter private premises to protect would be or actual victims of domestic violence.

Mr. Baing said the national Constitution clearly discourages all forms of violence and it calls for women to be equal partners with men.

"A violent family in a community raises violent children who later become violent parents and citizens of a nation. It is a concern not only for our women folk and girls but also to the nation as a whole," Mr. Baing said.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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