Doctors Without Borders presses New Guinea government on rampant sexual violence

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The president of Medecins Sans Frontieres pressed Papua New Guinea's new government to address its epidemic levels of sexual and domestic violence Thursday, calling it a "humanitarian crisis".

Unni Karunakara was in the impoverished Pacific nation to visit MSF projects targeting family and sexual violence and met with officials from Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's new government to urge action on the pervasive issue.

France's MSF (Doctors Without Borders) estimates that 70 percent of women in PNG will be raped or physically assaulted in their lifetime and Karunakara said the levels of violence were unique outside a war-zone or state of civil unrest.

"There is no open warfare in the country and the violence is (inherent) in how the society negotiates disputes, how they negotiate conflict between tribes, how they negotiate relationships within the family..."

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