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Santos has once again joined other private sector companies, businesses, civil society, and government to discuss family sexual violence (FSV) at the Bel isi PNG Leadership Forum 2023. Bel isi PNG is managed by the Santos-funded Oil Search Foundation (Foundation), in partnership with local organisations; Femili PNG and Business Coalition for Women.

Santos’ management team’s participation at the forum this year signals the company’s commitment to the fight against DV and GBV in the workplace.

According to Santos Country Chair PNG, Leon Buskens, violence in any form should not be tolerated.

“At Santos, we have a domestic violence policy. Our medical and wellbeing team are our first line of contact for staff experiencing family violence” Mr Buskens said.

“We host events and learning sessions throughout the year aimed at raising awareness and imparting tools to address family violence.”

The forum, themed “Changing Attitudes: What is the Role of Men?” saw a panel discussion moderated by Melkie Anton, an outstanding male engagement consultant with extensive knowledge of engaging men and boys in addressing GBV.

The forum discussed including and engaging men more proactively in addressing workplace FSV, with awareness and education identified as being important. It was further discussed that having a circle of male leaders in organisations and various sectors in the country involved in such forums is a step in the right direction because men also need to be able to speak out and share their experiences, especially Papua New Guinean male leaders and those emerging.

Santos and the Foundation are also committed to addressing workplace FSV. Santos is already providing an internal referral mechanism for those experiencing FSV in its operations throughout PNG.

Ongoing Foundation-led sessions about domestic violence throughout Santos’ PNG operations were a way to encourage conversations and provide a space for staff to ask questions and seek support.

Recently, a more focused group discussion led by Melkie Anton, who was invited to speak on male engagement, was organised at all Santos operational sites.

Image: Members of the Santos management team who attended the 2023 Bel isi Leadership forum in Port Moresby on the 18 May 2023.