Young women dragged out of home

Two young women were dragged out of their home on Friday evening by a group of boys.

The intoxicated group, numbering over 10, attempted to rape the women at Papuan Compound in Lae.

It was the first time something like that happened to Cecilia Thomas and her husband, who have lived at Papuan Compound for over 4 decades.

They grew up there, got married and continued living there with their two children.

Thomas currently has three young women, in their early 20s, renting their rooms.

On the afternoon of Friday, the 20th of August, Thomas was doing their usual routine of waiting for the girls at the bus stop. After work, all three would meet her there and walk down together.

But that afternoon, one of the girls went over to a friend’s place, leaving only two of her peers with Thomas.

It was around 6pm when they started walking down Citos Street when they noticed a large group of intoxicated boys and youths gathering around their area.

Nau mi harim ol tok nogut, mi tokim ol gels, ‘yumi sanap’. Mipla sanap stap, wanpla susa em kam go.” (I heard them swear and I told the girls to stand and wait. We were standing there when a sister came.)

After chewing betelnut, Thomas’ friend escorted them and left them at home. As it was their Sabbath, her husband and daughter went to church while the women stayed back.

Between 7 and 8pm, one of the girls needed to use the ablution facilities outside, so Thomas waited for her when one of the boys entered the premises which they share with another family.

“Em kam, em no kam stret lo mi. Em go lo hapsait haus lo ol femli ya,” she stated. (Upon entering, he didn’t come directly to me. He went over to the family over there.)

“Em go lo ol femli ya, ol mas tok wanem na em kam. Em laik openim do mi singaut, ‘Oi!’ (After leaving that family – I don’t know what they told him – he came and tried to open our door when I called out “Oi!”)

“Em kam na em tokim mi, ‘Mi harim olsem i gat tripla meri silip wantem yu lo hia. Ol rent na silip.’” (He came and told me, I’ve heard that three women are renting and living with you.)

Thomas lied to the youth that the girls were her daughters. The young man, however, told Thomas to hand the girls over, at which she refused.

Whilst they were arguing, another youth entered her house and took four phones, K170 cash belonging to the girls, food items and Thomas’ daughter’s toys bag.

“Na wanpla ol go pulim em insait lo rum, mi had lo stopim disla kraud man kam ya. Em more than 10 kam. (And they went and dragged the other girl from the room. I couldn’t stop the group as they numbered more than 10.)

“Mi go ol putim naif lo skin blo mi na tok, ‘Noken singaut’. Ol swerim mi. Ol tok yu singaut na naif bai go insait lo yu. (They pressed a knife against me and said, ‘Don’t scream’. They swore at me and threatened to stab me if I scream.)

“So mi tingim, bai mi helpim narapla insait lo haus o mi helpim disla autsait. Taim mi go lo pulim narapla, em narapla singaut ‘mami’ autsait.” (I was thinking, should I help the one inside the house or the one outside? When I try to pull the one inside, the other one would yell ‘mummy’ from the outside.)

One of the girls was dragged out of the gate while the other fought off the group, where she was stabbed in the leg and left behind.

Police arrived on scene after three hours. Accompanied by the community, they went searching in the swamps but to no avail.

For the girl who was dragged out of the premises, it was divine intervention when one of the boys in the group helped her escape, saying she reminded him of his sister.

He brought her to a makeshift place at Two-Mile until 1.30am on Saturday, where he escorted her back to the Thomas’ residence.

“Taim em kam lusim em, ol CID kam kamap,” said Thomas. (When he came and left her, the CID arrived.)

“Mipla askim em, yu kisim sampla bagarap lo skin? Em tok nogat. (We asked her, were you hurt? She replied, no.)

Mipla go antap lo CID, gim neim blo ol mangi; tupla mangi mipla gim neim pinis lo ol tasol ol no holim ol yet. Kominiti putim ai lo ol tu.” (We went up to the CID’s office and gave the names of two of the suspects. They are still looking for them and the community is keeping an eye out as well.)

The young woman was taken to the Family Support Centre on Sunday where a medical officer confirmed that she was unhurt.

Thomas said the group was made up of grades 7 to 10 students, most of whom had dropped out of school and were involved in homebrew and drug abuse.

They have identified a number of the boys and are waiting for police to apprehend them.

Carmella Gware