IB2017/30 Sorcery Accusation–Related Violence in Papua New Guinea Part 3: State and Non-State Responses

DPA In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Miranda Forsyth, Judy Putt, Thierry Bouhours, Brigitte Bouhours

Publication year:

2017

Publication type:

In Brief

This is the third In Brief of a four-part series on the findings from a quantitative analysis of media and case law relating to sorcery accusation–related violence (SARV) in Papua New Guinea during a 20-year period (1996–2016). As In Brief 2017/29 highlighted, often large groups of people were involved as perpetrators and witnesses. This In Brief concentrates on reported responses by the community and the state to specific incidents of SARV. Overall the analysis suggests both relative impunity for those who engage in SARV and a high degree of community complicity in the violence, indicated by the fact that in 59 per cent of cases no actions at all were reported as being taken by anyone to help or support the victim(s) in any way. More positively, since 2002 there is a clear ascending trend in the rates of attempted rescue and support of victims by police, villagers and churches reported in the media.

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