PNG failing to record domestic violence cases
Hospital administrator says Papua New Guinea's health reporting systems fail to track domestic violence cases.
A hospital administrator in Papua New Guinea's Jiwaka Province, says Papua New Guinea's health recording system is failing to register the prevalence of domestic violence cases in the country.
Dr Scott Dooley looks after the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital where he says domestic violence makes up the majority of injuries treated.
He spoke with Koroi Hawkins about the seriousness of the issue.
DR SCOTT DOOLEY: We certainly see a lot of domestic violence, in fact really our most common trauma is domestic violence of some sort and certainly women are less empowered and so often the target and as far as husband against wife I believe we've been listed as one of the highest domestic violence rates in the world.
KOROI HAWKINS: And in terms of the health system do you have numbers of the kind of cases or the number of cases you would deal with?
DrSD: For domestic or violence against women, really we don't um the national healthcare system as far as what's on the actual reporting form that hospitals and health centres turn in to the government, it's actually not anything that's been tracked. Actually it's kind of comes into this general category of other accidents and injuries so I, I don't really believe that anyone has good data of what comes into the hospital let alone what's actually happening, in the community.
KH: What is the scale of the violence? How bad are the cases that you see that actually make it to the hospital?
DrSD: We see very extreme examples, obviously there is a lot of common place sort of day to day violence you know man striking his wife because he is not happy with her. But we do see, un believable almost unspeakable cases of domestic violence. And then you get into really, really terrible and dark cases, many of which have made international news about Sanguma accusations. Sanguma is the belief that one person can put a curse on another and cause their illness or even death. Um that's if somebody's died unexpectedly in the Tribe, well who had a problem with this person, whose gossiped about this person, who might have gone out and paid sort of a witch doctor to put a curse on them and then that person is tortured until they confess. We've seen just unspeakable torture in these cases where people's hand have been held in the fire, where they've been burned with um hot coals or an iron heated in the fire and actually put up the women's vaginal canal or the rectum or into the belly, just, just unspeakable torture and we've seen that against both men and women but certainly by far women are the real target.
KH: Is there any light at the end of this very, very dark tunnel that you've described?
DrSD: I have to believe that there's hope, I have to believe that first of all we all have to take responsibility ourselves, you know, we all have tremendous impact on each other and I, I think we forget the power of what a good example means and of course there's other things that need to be done, on a legal side, on getting true law and order, correcting the justice system, all those things are in play. But real social change happens because of each one of us and I have to believe that and its one of the reasons I am here.
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