Despite a nationwide epidemic of violence against women and children, few of Papua New Guinea’s main towns have safe-houses and refuges for women affected by abuse, and survivors of sorcery attacks end up scattered into the care of relatives.
Most survivors reported serious flaws in the response from Papua New Guinea’s police investigating witch-hunts and sorcery violence, from bribery and corruption, to a lack of resources and general unwillingness to investigate.
The tears began to flow from Dini’s eyes, a warm and open woman, as she recalled being accused of using sorcery to kill her son after he died in the local hospital.
I asked Mama Dini for her permission to use the sensitive images in my report on witch-hunts for Al Jazeera’s programme.
For the people of Papua New Guinea, the belief in sorcery is at a crossroads.
No longer isolated from the rest of the world, a country featuring some of the most ancient civilisations in human history is grappling with how its belief in witch-craft fits with the nation’s future.
A woman found naked in a room with three Australian Manus Island guards says she was drugged and raped, according to local MP Ronnie Knight.Until, conversing outside her traditional Highlands home, Mama Dini offered to show me the scarring left by the attack. Dini revealed the scars under her garments and showed where her attackers had cut her repeatedly with machetes heated over a fire, burning the skin as they pierced her flesh.There were several puncture wounds now covered by heavy scarring, and countless burns where the hot knives had been placed on her skin.PNG police said the men and the local woman were found naked, drunk and sniffing an unidentified substance in mid-July."Three foreign officials with a lady were said to be having beers and sniffing some hard stuff when they got all excited, removed all their clothes and exposed their bodies," Manus Island provincial police commissioner Alex N'Drasal said.Commander N'Drasal said he had not heard any reports of rape or prostitution, but was awaiting further information from Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).