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Papua New Guinea sports star beaten, husband arrested

Posted By –, June 9, 2020

Papua New Guinea reported the arrest Tuesday of an army officer over the alleged assault of his partner — a champion boxer and rugby international — in a case that has renewed outrage over the country’s high level of spousal abuse.

Video of Debbie Kaore being headbutted and repeatedly struck with a clothes iron went viral in the Pacific nation, with the prime minister among those saying such behaviour was unacceptable.

According to Amnesty International gender-based violence — including gang rape and other forms of sexual violence — is “highly prevalent” in Papua New Guinea.

Human Rights Watch has called the country “one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman or a girl”, saying an estimated 70 percent of women experience rape or assault in their lifetime.

Police said Tuesday they had arrested and charged PNG Defence Force 2nd Lieutenant Murray Oa, 33, “with one count of causing grievous bodily harm” as a result of the attack.

Kaore captained Papua New Guinea in sevens rugby and won a gold medal at the 2015 Pacific games for boxing.

Kaore allowed the video to be released in the hope “that there won’t be another victim after me”, she posted on social media.

“This has gone too far.”Prime Minister James Marape said in a Facebook post that it would only be possible to advance the country if men “RESPECT AND DON’T BEAT UP OUR WOMEN AND GIRLS”

Despite high levels of domestic violence, attitudes have slowly been changing in the country.

In 2013 legal reforms imposed tougher prison sentences, fines and protection orders against offenders.