Funding has been the major issue affecting the viability of shelters and refuges for victims of domestic and gender based violence.REDE FETO as the umbrella for these shelters urged the Government to fund them accordingly to guarantee adequate provision of services and facilities for women victims.“I believe shelters should be established in all Districts and not only in some, as domestic violence occurs throughout the whole nation. Funding should be allocated for the operation of these shelters and to pay for staff’s wages, so victims of gender based get the appropriate treatment and services,” said Rede Feto member and Director of Feto Kbi’it Servisu Hamutuk (FKSH), Gisela de Carvalho, (06/08), in Bairo-Pite, Dili.
According to her, implementation of the Law against Domestic Violence created by the Secretary of State for the promotion of Equality (SEPI) is not fully implementable due to the lack of adequate number of shelters and refuges. “Looking after and providing services to victims of domestic and gender based violence, is not an easy task while they reside at the shelters,” said Director de Carvalho. According to her, victims of domestic and gender based violence in Districts where there is no shelter, report to or are referred to the Vulnerable People’s Unit (VPU), of PNTL.Women’s representative in Parliament, Member of Parliament (MP) Josefa Alvares Soares said shelters providing assistance to victims of domestic and gender based violence need much more funding and support from Government to improve their human resources to ensure for instance the provision of the services of psychologists dealing with traumatised survivors.“A very important component of treatment in these shelters is psychological counselling so victims are prepared for reinsertion into society. The nuns have contributed a lot but we need counsellors to help these victims overcome their trauma,” said MP Soares. She fully agrees with the Rede Feto’s appeal for Government to fund more shelters across all Districts, especially rural areas.
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