Papua New Guinea’s Witch Hunting Problem has been reported on, but there is a massive trend towards misogyny in the Island Culture judging by the sudden spate of rapes occurring within the country.
A 32 year old American has been raped by a gang of nine armed men after they tied her husband to a treee.
She was in the country conducting research into exotic birds when they were ambushed by a gang of 9 men who stripped and bound the husband and guide before hacking her hair off with a machete and raping her.
This woman has chosen to stand up and speak about the violence in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This comes less than a week after the murder the murder of a Australian man and the rape of his Filipina girlfriend by a gang who broke into their house.
A local photographer working for AFP helped the couple file police reports and organise a flight out of the country.
‘This story should not come out just because I am white,’ said the woman, who was on her fifth visit to the country since her first trip in 2010. She would stay for up to four months conducting her research into exotic birds and the impact of climate change on the forest. ‘My story should come out in the hopes that it empowers Papua New Guinean women to stand up and say no more violence against women in this country,’ said the woman, who did not want to reveal her identity. ‘I hope my story can make a change.’
The problem is again that there is a culture of rape, where such rape gangs are common. There have been calls before.
Wives suffer extreme violence in some cases from their husbands over domestic issues, and brutal punishments are handed out to women accused of witchcraft, which is practised in remote parts of the country. As I reported, a 20 year old woman was burned earlier in February and some elderly women were beheaded after being accused of sorcery in front of the police.
So far no arrests are made but violence against women is astonishingly high in a country where rape and violence towards women is seen as not only normal but expected.
The following photographs are NSFW and NSFL and chart the level of domestic violence and rape in PNG.
They are by Vlad Sokhin, the Book Award finalist from 2012.