Voice for Change calls for collective effort to address sorcery


VOICE for Change, a women’s organisation based in Jiwaka, is calling for a collaborative effort to fight the increase in sorcery-related violence.
Voice director Lilly BeSoer Kolts said Jiwaka was seeing an increase in attacks on vulnerable members of the community such as widows, orphans and the elderly.
“Every week we see one or two people being attacked because they are suspected of practising sorcery,” Kolts said. “There are other ways of addressing people’s beliefs in sorcery.
“Resorting to violence is not a proper avenue to address sorcery allegations.
“Innocent people become victims and they do not report it because they fear retribution.”
She was speaking after three women were attacked on Wednesday at Kawil village in Tombil, Minj, following sorcery allegation made after the death of a man.
“One of the women sustained a severe rupture to her spleen when she was kicked on her side. She is receiving medical treatment at Kudjip hospital,” Kolts said.
“The two others did not go for medical treatment, so we do not know the extent of their injuries.”
The three women have not laid any complaints with police.
Kolts said most victims of sorcery allegations were suffering silently because they could face more attacks if they were know to have reported the matter to police.
Kolts said it was a very serious issue that required all stakeholders, from the ward level to the provincial and national levels, to address.
She wants to see police in Jiwaka receiving support in terms of funding and transportation.
She said the Family and Sexual Violence Unit in Jiwaka has no resources to effectively do its job.

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