"All I can ask everyone is to be kind, for the person you meet maybe fighting a battle you know nothing about," said Alicia Sahib, Head of Support Services today (Thursday 31st December, 2020), when reflecting on her experience as a survivor of Family Sexual Violence and Gender Based Violence (FSV & GBV) during the closing of BSP's #BlackThursdays Campaign for the year.
The bank hosted a small event marking the closing of one of the biggest Social Justice campaign it had embarked on in July 2020, in standing up and against all forms of FSV and GBV.
The closing event saw Sahib share an emotional account of her experience and her pathway to safety. She parted with this message, "I share my story not for sympathy but for awareness. We as a society need to stop victim-blaming, stop making excuses for the bullies who abuse others, stop telling a person how to feel and what to do. Most importantly we must stop looking the other way and gossip either face to face or clicking on a like or share button on social media."
The closing event also had invited guests from the Family Sexual Violence Unit from Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and Bel isi PNG Program, who shared with the BSP staff the type of work they do and what is available out there for survivors to access.
"We are thankful for BSP to have come on board to support with Safe houses that can cater for those survivors who come to us for help and require a safe place to stay temporarily. Especially BSP's contribution in designing and overseeing the renovation of a building in Kwikila, which is being setup as a FSVU. This facility will see survivors from as far as Rigo and Abau coming to access this service," expressed Superintendent Delilah Sandeka, the Director of Family Sexual Violence Unit with the RPNGC.
"Listen to your instincts, seek help from your friends and utilise the support mechanisms BSP has in place", BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming reiterated to his staff during his closing remarks.
Fleming affirmed that, although this is the final observation of the #BlackThursdays campaign for the year, it does not mean the campaign ends here. Staff will continue to wear black every Thursdays "and we will continue to support programs that raises awareness on Family Sexual and Gender Based Violence and stand in solidarity with the survivors of FSV and GBV next year and onwards.
Alicia and guests from Bel Isi PNG, FSVU, Femili PNG and some staff from BSP.