Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea: "I am forced to stay in an abusive marriage"

“My husband often beats me. He does not like it if I go to the market or talk with other people – even my family. He has used bush knives and sticks, and he punches or slaps me. I have tried to get a divorce from him before, but the village elders would not grant it because he had paid a bride price for me – eight pigs and 300 kina. He had also threatened them, so they told me I had to go back to him.
- 25 year old mother of two, inpatient department, Tari hospital, Papua New Guinea

Home to more than seven million people, Papua New Guinea is the South Pacific’s largest island. A country of rich ethnic and cultural diversity, where more than 800 languages are spoken, this Commonwealth country gained its independence from Australia in 1975. It is estimated that more than two thirds of PNG's population lives under the poverty line, on less than US $1.25 a day.  The country also has the worst health indicators in the Pacific region. Since 2009 MSF has treated 27,993 survivors of family and sexual violence care in Papua New Guinea and carried out 68,840 major and minor surgeries, one third of which were for violence-related injuries.

Read MSF's press release "Papua New Guinea: New MSF report reveals cycle of abuse for survivors of family and sexual violence"
MSF's new report "Return to Abuser"