5 Dec 2013

Early intervention key to stopping PNG sorcery violence - Catholic bishop

10:17 am on 5 December 2013

A conference on sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea has heard that church and community leaders must focus on early intervention.

The three-day meeting in the Eastern Highlands provincial capital Goroka will wrap up today with a list of recommendations for government policy.

Increasing numbers of women around the country are being attacked following sorcery accusations, often suffering prolonged torture, sexual assault and violent, public death.

A Catholic bishop, Anton Bal, told delegates early intervention is one way his church in Simbu province is stopping bereaved families from seeking someone to blame.


Our leaders, we encourage them to be attentive to community new and events. If anything happens, they have to be there. Death of an important person - they have to be present and they have to be present during the mourning time and also during the periods of a funeral.

Bishop Anton Bal says obtaining clear police and medical reports at such times is also essential.