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Pasung: Punished by the Gods

Christian Werner | Bali

Indonesia, Bali, Singaraja, 16. April 2013 - Kadek, 42, for years she stopped to talk. She has spent more than half her life in a room without windows. Kadek lies on a cot. Her family believes she is possessed by demons. The family refuses that Kadek gets treated with Western medicine. So far They have visited 57 ritual healer, but nothing worked. Because Kadek does not earn any money, she is a thorn in the side of the family so that they poorly take care of her and let her die.

Bali is a tropical vacation paradise, but there is a dark side just a few tourists get to see. People with mental illness are chained by their family members, they are often tied up or locked up in shocking living conditions.

Around 20 million people in Indonesia have a mental illness. Only a few get help. Because mental illnesses are still associated with evil, the sick are chained by their relatives in the forest or locked in cages.

The 4 million inhabitants of Bali with approximately 7,000 patients are estimated to only a handful of available psychiatrists . Overall, less than five percent of the mentally ill are treated in Indonesia.

Traditionally, many Indonesians believe that evil in the head can be expelled by a healer. They have no money for treatment and often there is no way to treat their members professionally.

There are people chained endure decades. The Indonesian Ministry of Health estimates that there are currently around 30 000 people with a mental illness in Indonesia locked away.

 Bali only known for paradise like nature is shown on its darkest side in this reportage. The balinese people have to be educated about mental diseases to improve the nowadays situation.




Christian Werner
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