Timor-Leste has established a Referral Network of Services for victims of gender-based violence. Over the past three years, UNFPA has supported various local NGOs to provide key services, such as Pradet Timor Lorosae (psycho-social treatment including trauma counseling), Fokupers (shelter and accompaniment), JSMP Victim Support Service (legal advice) and the Vulnerable Persons Unit of PNTL. Since the crisis in 2006, each of these organizations has fulfilled a vital and strengthened function in providing assistance to victims in coordination with Dili National Hospital and the UNPOL/PNTL Vulnerable Persons Unit in the capital.
Services for victims include counselling (both at the crisis and its follow-up), a safe house, specialized medical treatment and forensic examination through the Fatin Hakmatek ("safe place") programme, legal assistance, a limited amount of material assistance and follow-up support groups.
One of the key areas of the Referral Network of Services for victims is the issuing of a Goverment Regulation legalizing the draft Forensic Protocol for Examination of Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. The Objective of the Protocol is to regulate the collection of evidence to assist in the successful prosecution of gender-based violence crimes in the formal justice sector.
The Decree Law Regarding Support Centers will provide the legal framework for these services during 2009 and UNFPA will have a critical role to play in assisting both the Office of the Secretary of State for the Promotion of Gender Equality (SEPI) and the Ministry of Social Services (MSS) to further strengthen and formalize the Referral Network.
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Timor-Leste to the questionnaire on violence against women, February 2009