The rape of a nurse in Papua New Guinea’s second largest city on Saturday has triggered widespread public outrage and the closure of the city hospital.
Staff closed down Lae’s Angau Hospital hospital late yesterday after the incident was reported. They are demanding the immediate arrest of the rapists within 48 hours.
Details of the incident aren’t clear but it’s understood the off-duty nurse was at home with her family when armed men broke into her home, held up the woman’s husband and assaulted her.
This morning, more than 100 nurses and doctors met with the management. They called on the Chief Executive and board to improve security and housing conditions for the nurses and doctors.
This is the latest of many attacks on hospital staff in recent months. An attempt to kidnap a female nurse in January was foiled by workers and security guards. The suspect was caught and severely beaten.
Papua New Guinea’s record of physical and sexual violence against women has brought widespread criticism and international attention on the plight of women in rural and urban areas.
In a country, reeling from the recent public torching of a woman accused of sorcery,
this attack expected to be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.
“I got reports of the incident yesterday and I am very disturbed by it,” Dr. Polapai Chalau, the Hospital’s CEO said. “This matter has to be brought to the attention of the highest office. Enough is enough!”
“We demand the utmost respect for our workers,” said hospital chairman, Benson Nablu. “This cannot go on.”
This comes also as global attention has been focusing the recent brutal gang-rape of an Indian woman in Delhi who later died of here injuries.