“Violence is not love, if you need help – reach out”

Date: Wednesday 25th November, 2020

"I have seen first-hand how brutal and vicious physical violence can be but also the psychological abuse that a victim endures, destroy their self-confidence, self-worth and outlook on life," says Bank South Pacific Company Secretary, Mary Johns.

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Mary, an executive management team member of BSP adds her voice to the growing number of advocates in the fight to stop family and sexual violence.

Mary was exposed to the nefariousness of Family and Sexual Violence (FSV) since practicing family law at the start of her career and later with BSP as a Legal Officer, where she found herself assisting colleagues, who were survivors of FSV.

As a long-time advocate, Mary has seen these forms of violence in every level of society. She believes the cycle of violence remains when people who have been frequently subject to or observe violence in their homes, that it becomes normal and acceptable form of behaviour.

She wants victims and survivors to know that "You are worthy of love, care and respect. Ask for help if you need it. Be strong and stand up to protect yourself and find your voice to speak out."

Mary also wants the perpetrators to know, "If you need help, reach out and ask for help. Do not hurt the people you say you love. Violence is not love".

The BSP Board of Directors support the #BlackThursday campaign by wearing black shirts during their recent board meetings held in Mt Hagen, Madang and Kokopo.

Mary acknowledges that the commitment from the BSP Directors, Management and Staff who participate in the #BlackThursdays campaign is tremendous and commends everyone for their ongoing support.

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Mary Johns (ninth from left) and BSP Board Members in Mt Hagen