Why 70 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s women will be raped in their lifetime

Why 70 per cent of Papua New Guinea’s women will be raped in their lifetime, by Jonathon Pearlman.

An estimated 70 percent of women in the nation of seven million people experience rape or assault in their lifetime. The nation’s grim statistics can be hard to fathom: more than half of women experience rape within marriage and 68 per cent are beaten at home. A study in one region found 41 per cent of men had raped a woman who was not their partner. …

Some of the most brutal cases have involved accusations of witchcraft and sorcery, in which women are brutally beaten, tortured and killed in attacks that can involve hundreds of men, women and children from entire villages.

Typically, the women are accused following the sudden illness or death of a child in the village, though the accusation is often made by tribal enemies or as payback for perceived wrongs.

An Australian colony until 1975, Papua New Guinea is a diverse nation with more than 800 languages — about 12 per cent of the world’s total — and widely varied communal practices and beliefs. But the violence has infected small villages and big cities, coastal idylls and remote jungle townships.

Unravelling the causes can be difficult. Experts have pointed to growing use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, as well as a lack of jobs and a culture of boredom and inertia in some parts of the country.

But anthropological studies have also found that “wife beating” has long been acceptable by large parts of the population.

Some cultures are better than others.

A reader comments: The fact is that the civilizing effect of European culture doesn’t penetrate very deep in some places. The underlying culture remains. This is why mass immigration from the Middle East and Africa into Europe is such a disaster. The effects on Europe’s culture will be profound. The attitudes these people bring are greatly at odds with Europeans’ way of seeing things.