The campaign aimed to stand in solidarity against family and sexual violence and gender based violence and #BlackThursdays is observed with BSP staff wearing black every Thursdays in July.
The campaign has seen a positive and rewarding take on by the BSP Male staff since it started. Male staff have come forward in leading and fully participating in the campaign as well as sharing their personal experiences.
One male who came forward to share his experience was Barry Namongo, the Branch Manager for BSP Madang. Barry grew up in a good home. There was respect and love. He said his father never hit his mother; they had disagreements but he cannot recall a time where his dad laid a hand on his mother.
"So to me seeing a woman being hurt is wrong. A value that I think is over looked often today is respect; we need to have more respect for each other. I do not judge nor am I dismissive of their concerns. I only ask how best I can help them and where I can, I ensure I deliver, said Mr. Namongo.
Another young man, Jeremy John, a new father of a six-month-old baby boy, came forward to seek help in late 2019. He grew up watching violence being perpetrated and the effects of which has affected his behaviour towards his young family. He said the constant reminders on Bel isi PNG services and awareness on family sexual violence made him realise that he needed help.
"The feeling of responsibility as a man and questioning myself on whether I was doing enough to break the cycle bothered me. I had to accept that my behaviour was not something I wanted my son to learn. I have also learnt to deal with my ego and pride by listening more and being more present in my family's life.
"I have yet to navigate through life but I am hoping when challenged, as a good father and a good man, I am able to be fair and provide support in looking after my son equally as my partner," shared Jeremy.
With the various help Jeremy has sought from mentors and counsellors, he is determined to become a better man and respect everyone regardless of gender. He is grateful for a safe space BSP has created where no matter who seeks help under the Group Family Sexual Violence Policy, no one is judged and everyone is provided the help they seek.
BSP is observing the last Thursday today (Thursday 30th July) for the month of July, where BSP staff wear black to stand in solidarity with every survivor who remain resilient in the face of violence and injustice. The Bank's stance still stands even after this month and onwards.
BSP Madang Branch Staff observing #BlackThursdays recently