Kiwi Saves Girlfriend from Papua New Guinean Rapist

As you guys know I grew up in Papua New Guinea, I loved growing up there, but I also loved leaving there in my early teens. PNG is no place for a woman, or a girl for that matter, and although I tend to idealize traditions and indigenous cultures quite a bit on this site, I know it isn’t all admirable. The men in Papua New Guinea treat women very badly. I remember every day as we drove to school, little old women loaded down with huge bilum’s full of sweet potato would be walking for miles, on their way to the market. If we stopped to pick them up, young men, who were walking empty handed in their own group, would run to our van, push the old ladies out of the way and jump in. My father would always kick them out and let in the old ladies.

The sexual treatment of women also is very rude. The men generally live in their own men’s houses, while their wives live with the pigs in another house and have to do all the gardening, cleaning, cooking etc. (The more wives and pigs the more important a man you are.) This type of culture promotes the treatment of women as objects for men to do whatever they please with. Growing up in a village in the highlands I was sexually molested when I was around 6, and sexually harassed from that time onward– and I was the lucky one, compared to the things that happened to the local girls. Some of my friends in school were also molested. Reading the following story is no surprise therefore in regards to the action of the Papua New Guinean man. The bigger surprise is that this geeky-looking kiwi took the man on and protected his lady. Good on you! I am very glad to hear you both got out of there alive.

The following article is reposted from which is a really good newsite covering info from NZ and the South Pacific.

Kiwi survives Papua New Guinea jungle attack

Kiwi Matthew Scheurich is back in hospital fighting an infection after a horrific arrow attack in Papua New Guinea.

His father, Greg Scheurich, said this morning that Matthew, 28, was “in a great deal of pain” but recovering after he was attacked while intervening to save his partner, Anais Gerard, from a sexual assault near Suabi, in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province, 11 days ago.

“We are eternally grateful for the care Matthew has received in PNG and Australia,” he said.

“We would like to thank the medical professionals who operated on Matthew. He is recovering well but is still receiving treatment.”

One arrow went into Matthew’s right lung and the other through his ribs, under his liver and through his stomach, stopping short of the aorta.

After being air-lifted to Kiunga Hospital – a 30 minute flight away – visiting Port Moresby surgeon Dr Charlie Turhars and Australian volunteer doctor Josette Docherty performed four hours of surgery to repair his wounds. Docherty’s partner Allan Mason also donated a unit of blood.

Mr Scheurich, who lives in Auckland, said he was flying tomorrow to be at Matthew’s bedside. Matthew was a very private person who did not want his plight in the media, Mr Scheurich said.

“He’s still trying to deal with his own trauma and in a great deal of physical pain and trying to deal with that. He’s just very very very lucky to be alive.”

Matthew’s life was saved because Gerard, 29, a French anthropology student, managed to activate a personal locator beacon, and the pair escaped to a village aid post, where they were able to organise an airlift to the port town of Kiunga, a 30-minute flight away.

In the meantime, Matthew, who is from Hamilton and lately from Melbourne, pulled the arrows from his body, causing significant bleeding. His face was also cut by rocks thrown at him. One above his right eye was cut right to the bone.

Mr Scheurich said he had a “huge amount of respect” for not only his son but for his son’s girlfriend who had the presence of mind to trigger their emergency locator beacon after the attack. “She is remarkable.”

At Kiunga Hospital, Dr Docherty was surprised to see a deathly pale white man being taken into the operating theatre. In a medical report she said: “Matt had remained conscious throughout [the attack] and was in severe pain.”

Mason also performed first aid on Gerard, who had human bites, cuts, scratches and bruises. The injured pair had to wait two more days for a transfer to Australia. Matthew was initially discharged from Cairns Base Hospital on Tuesday.
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His former workmates have reacted with amazement at the jungle heroics of a colleague they remember as a slightly built and quietly spoken man. He attended Hillcrest High School and studied at Wintec before working at the Waikato Times for 10 months in 2005 as a graphic designer.

While working at the Times he featured on the cover of lifestyle magazine Tempo, when the shaggy-haired graphic designer was transformed in a makeover which involved shorter hair and new clothes.

Colleague and Waikato Times graphic artist Andy McGregor remembered Matthew as a multi-talented “geek” with wide-ranging interests. He was shocked to hear of his narrow escape: “I don’t know what he was doing out there being a hero.”

He said Matthew was a fan of the hip-hop genre nerdcore, and performed and recorded several music videos under the name MC Stormtroopa.

He also worked at the Waikato University student magazine Nexus and was involved in Mammoth, a Hamilton-based gig guide venture with friends Shane Dudfield and Pete Dawson, before he headed off overseas.

Dudfield said he could not comment because Matthew had asked not to be contacted.

“I hope he’s well,” his friend said.

A spokeswoman for Australian Doctors International said the personal locator beacon probably saved Matthew’s life.

“The guy was lucky because of his age and because the village [Suabi] had a radio, an aid post and an airstrip, so the plane could get in,” she said. Without the locator beacon, he would have bled to death. The spokeswoman said the violent attack was “an extremely unfortunate and rare incident. Generally, we find the people there warm, hospitable and proud to share their culture with foreigners”.

Catholic Bishop Gilles Cote, of PNG’s Daru-Kiunga diocese, said it appeared the couple’s attacker was a tribesman who wanted to marry Gerard but turned aggressive when he was rejected.

In March, Matthew blogged: “Out of office: Gone to Papua New Guinea to live in the jungle, be back in 6 months’ time or so.”

– The Dominion Post and Waikato Times

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