Grant targets domestic violence in East Timor  

Dr Suzanne Belton's successful grant application is targeting domestic violence in East Timor.

Survivors of domestic violence in East Timor will have access to improved justice and medical treatment following a successful grant application by two Charles Darwin University academics.

Senior research fellow with the Graduate School of Health Practice, Dr Suzanne Belton and lecturer with the School of Law and Business, Jeswynn Yogaratnum have been working with Timorese health care workers, authorities and policy makers to combat rising levels of reported domestic violence.

The project that received funding, “Strengthening the capacity of police, health professionals and lawyers to understand and apply the new penal code and domestic violence law using a human rights framework”, is part of Australia’s Human Rights Small Grants Scheme, which supports organisations in developing countries to promote and protect human rights.

Dr Belton said the project aimed to promote the rights of women and children by building the capacity of policy, health professionals and lawyers to understand their responsibilities under the new East Timor Penal Code and Domestic Violence Law.

“Up to 20 doctors, 20 lawyers, 30 nurses and midwives and 30 police officers will undertake training to better understand the implications of domestic violence and their legal responsibilities,” she said.

“This recognises that violence against women is a human rights violation, which pervades both private and public life in most societies in the world.

“It severely limits women’s ability to fully and freely participate in social, economic and political life.”

Grants have been provided to organisations that are working to combat violence against women in Afghanistan, Cameroon, East Timor, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestinian National Authority, Sri Lanka and Tuvalu.