End violence against women in the Pacific

8 April 2015, 14:04 UTC | Papua New Guinea
Sarah and Tapora travel to the United Nations in New York. 2010. © Tim Bell/Amnesty International Australia

When we got a panicked call about a woman and her daughters who were being accused of sorcery, our researchers immediately contacted the police in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The police said they couldn’t go to where the women were held hostage– even though they were about to be murdered – because they didn’t have enough petrol.

Since police in PNG have a history of not taking sorcery-related violence seriously, we knew we had to act fast. In crises like these, every second counts – which is why your support is so critical. Donate now to end violence against women in Papua New Guinea. Help us act fast when people’s lives are at-risk. With your gift today, we will have the resources needed to organise swift action when cases like this come to light.

Donate now to end violence against women in Papua New Guinea >>

We launched an urgent petition demanding that the PNG authorities help free the women who were being held hostage. More than 12,000 supporters like you signed the petition in less than a day. After we flooded the police with faxes and media reports, the Deputy Commissioner announced that saving the women’s lives was now a priority for his team.

Thanks to supporters like you, the woman and her two teenage daughters were saved. Without your support, I have no doubt that they would now be dead.

Sadly, many women are still at-risk. Two out of three women in PNG are victims of domestic violence. 55% of women have been raped, and 60% of men boast of joining in a gang rape. These rates of violence against women match those of a war zone.

Despite the difficulties, we are seeing positive changes. There are new laws protecting women, and we partnered with local human rights defenders to testify at the United Nations. We helped pass a Family Protection Act and repeal the Sorcery Act, but we need your help to make these protections real.

With your support, we will push the government and police to enforce the laws that protect women and girls from violence.

Donate now >>

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