Many in black rally for Jenelyn and against PNG gender-based violence

Many wore black yesterday in rallies against gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea in a day chosen to remember the young mother Jenelyn Kennedy – and for her death not to be in vain.

Pacific Media Center reports, as demands grow for justice to be served and for stronger laws to be introduced, the national athletics team was among those who joined the “Walk for Jenelyn” yesterday afternoon from Parliament to the Sir John Guise Stadium, followed by a “shine the light” vigil.

The “Black Day for Jenelyn” call following Jenelyn Kennedy’s death has gained momentum, thanks to social media as word spread quickly and many working class people turned up to support the march.

The march was also livestreamed on social media by EMTV News.

Photos posted on social media came from different parts of the country, from Mendi in the Southern Highlands to Kiunga in the Western Province.

The march was an initiative by the PNG Men Up, a group comprising like-minded elite PNG men who want an end to violence by working alongside existing groups to drive this change.

The family of 19-year-old mother of two Jenelyn Kennedy, who died last week after allegedly being beaten for more than five days, also joined the walk.

Police commissioner David Manning earlier this week revealed plans to call for a forum after investigations are completed to look at ways to strengthen existing laws, ensure police are more responsive and to push for the state to provide long term support systems for victims of family and sexual violence.

The NGO Development Council (NDC) called for justice and an end to violence and also highlighted system failures that lead to breeding of family and sexual violence.

It condemned a system that allowed underage marriage and failures in the law, justice and health sectors to recognise the risks.

NDC has called on the police, health sector agencies, medical profession and other law and justice system partners to work together to change these deadly system failures.

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