Pasung - Punished by the Gods
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. Help get only a few. 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.
1. Indonesia, Bali, Singaraja - 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. © Christian Werner
2. Indonesia, North-Bali, 18. April 2013 - A moldy dark shack was the home of a the mentally ill Wayan Budiawayan who were chained for 18 years to this bed. © Christian Werner
3. Indonesia, Bali, Singaraja 16 April 2013 - Komang, 26 years old is chained by her family in a hut in the jungle near Singaraja for 8 years. The family says Komang Could not cope With Their divorce. She wandered aimlessly, naked through the village, as the family Deciding to put them in chains. It has been locked in a cabin with no natural light, right next to the cattle. © Christian Werner
4. The only support that families receive from the state for their mentally ill family members, is a concrete shack which is built to lock away the “possessed”. The last time she got washed was two month ago. © Christian Werner
5. Indonesia, North-Bali, 18. April 2013 - Ketut is sitting on a bamboo lounger at the edge of the village, he sits there for 19 years. Previously Ketut was a construction worker once, he left his hut in the morning, in the evening he returned. A big man with strong hands, he brought money, he fed the family. © Christian Werner.
6. Indonesia, Bali, Singaraja, 16 April 2013 - A chained man in the jungle in Singaraja. © Christian Werner
7. Indonesia, Bali, Singaraja 16. April 2013 - Komang, 26 years old is chained by her family in a hut in the jungle near Singaraja for 8 years. The family says Komang could not handle her divorce. She strayed aimlessly and naked through the village, as the family decidided to put her in chains. © Christian Werner