Associacaon Chega Ba Ita (ACBIT)

Strengthening Women Survivors of Violence in Timor-Leste

Sexual violence was pervasive under the Indonesian occupation (1975-1999) of Timor-Leste, including rape and sexual slavery of Timorese women by Indonesian security forces, often with their Timorese allies. Women suffered numerous physical and mental impacts of these violations and as a result continue to experience discrimination and exclusion by their communities. From 2002-2005, a truth commission collected 8,000 statements from victims, organized public hearings and found that rape was committed as a crime against humanity. ACBIT was established to promote the findings and recommendations of the commission’s report and believes that impunity for gender-based violence during the conflict is linked to the country’s current context where violence against women is pervasive; a study in 2009-10 found that 39 per cent of women experienced some form of sexual violence from the age of 15.

The programme will work directly with women survivors groups in the 13 districts of Timor-Leste, and a national women’s NGO to seek to engage policy makers and parliamentarians to create and implement specific policies for women survivors of human rights violations, including implementing the recommendations of the truth commission. Key activities include: consolidating a simple and user-friendly database on women victims; conducting participatory action research with women members of the National Victim’s Association; linking victims of conflict with present day victims of gender-based violence; developing a model for a victim’s trust fund, with a focus on women victims (provisions for which exist under Timorese law but have not been implemented); and conducting public outreach on gender justice

Grant Amount: USD 300,000
Project duration: 1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2017


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