Community leaders are protecting a teenager from police after she was accused of beheading her father, who allegedly raped her in their Papua New Guinea village, according to reports.
The Post-Courier reported that an 18-year-old woman allegedly cut off her father's head in their Western Highlands home on the night of June 11 while the girl's mother and his three other children were away visiting relatives, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) notes. The man had allegedly raped the young girl repeatedly. The girl reported the incident to community leaders, who believe she was justified in the killing, the report states.
“The father wanted to rape his daughter again in the morning inside the house and that was when the young girl picked up the bush knife and chopped her father's head off,” Pastor Lucas Kumi said. Later adding, “The daughter did what she did because of the trauma and the evil actions of her father so that is why we have all agreed that she remains in the community."
The police, however, want to question the teen.
"A crime has allegedly been committed," police spokesman Dominic Kakas told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) Monday. "But a murder is a murder, it is a matter that will be investigated."
Violence against women is high in Papua New Guinea. The U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) cites a 2008 report from The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that states the country as a whole has one of the world’s highest rates of sexual violence. Eight percent of the women in the country have been raped, "but this number is likely low due to underreporting," the report notes.
Brutal violence linked to accusations of sorcery-related crimes have also made headlines recently.
In April, two elderly women were tortured for three days and then beheaded after they were suspected of sorcery. Back in February, a 20-year-old accused "witch" was tortured and burned alive in front of an angry mob after she was blamed for killing a young boy.