with eyes open wide
It’s certainly not a secret that domestic violence occurs all over the world. Unfortunately, it is worse in some countries and regions than in others. The main reason for this? Culture.
Culture is usually referred to in positive terms, discussing differences in traditions, language, style of living, and food. The negatives are overlooked and hushed, probably out of respect for the cultures. After all, who is able to tell someone else that their culture is bad or wrong? We all are brought up differently and are able to form our own opinions based on our experiences and beliefs.
That is, until a culture blatantly violates human rights. Then everyone wants to get involved! And for good reason when innocent people’s lives are at stake.
Papua New Guinea (located in the Pacific, just north of Australia) is a prime example. Hundreds of ethnic groups are indigenous to this country and there are more languages spoken in Papua New Guinea than in any other country in the world (820 indigenous languages). One third of the population (6.3 million) live in extreme poverty. With such a large indigenous population, traditions and cultures are typically “outdated” and therefore, women’s rights are virtually nonexistent. Add on top of this a culture of fighting between the hundreds of tribes, and you have a ripe environment for domestic abuse.
I encourage you to watch the video below to get a better sense of the reality in Papua New Guinea. Awareness is always the first step!