US woman gang-raped by nine men in Papua New Guinea
A 32-year-old American academic has told how she was ganged raped by nine armed men during a research trip to a remote forest on Karkar Island in Papua New Guinea.
The Daily Mail reports that the woman, who was researching exotic birds, was walking along a bush track with her husband and a guide when the attack happened on Friday.
Her husband and the guide were stripped and bound to a tree, while the woman was raped and her hair was hacked off.
The country's prime minister, Peter O'Neil, has condemned the attack as "the cowardly act of animals" and the woman has chosen to speak out to highlight the violence that women experience in Papua New Guinea.
The woman, who has not revealed her identity, spoke to the media as she waited for a flight to leave the country.
She said: "I was walking along a bush track with my husband and our guide when we were ambushed by nine men armed with rifles and knives."
She explained that her clothes were torn off, her hands were bound and her blonde hair was chopped off with bush knives. She was then raped by the gang for 20 minutes.
The men ran away when a noise in the forest started them, and the couple's guide then managed to break free and release them.
The three then ran naked along jungle tracks for several hours, until they reached a remote village where they were able to raise the alarm.
The woman, who has visited Papua New Guinea four times before, said: "This story should not come out just because I am white. My story should come out in the hope that that it empowers Papua New Guinean women to stand up and say no more violence against women in this country. I hope my story can make a change."
ABC News reports that police have confirmed that the incident took place.
A police spokesperson said: "We have taken statements but no arrests have been made yet. This is a very serious incident."
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