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The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste’s Nabilan Program and Australian Government Launch Hamahon ‘Giving Shelter’ App and Media Kit

Dili, December 6, 2018 — Today, The Asia Foundation and the Timor-Leste Government launched an innovative mobile application and website for women and children victims of violence. Demonstrating a commitment to taking concrete steps to stop violence against women at all levels of society and ensuring women and children victims have access to support services, the government also launched a media kit for reporting on violence against women and children. These resources were developed by the Nabilan Program, an Australian aid initiative implemented by The Asia Foundation on behalf of the Australian Government.

Catalpa International generously donated their time to design the Hamahon (“giving shelter”) app which helps police, service providers, and women find contact information for support services. The platform also enables service providers to easily update their contact information and flag inactive phone numbers. Service providers and representatives from the Timorese government took part in the design and testing process in order to ensure that the app addresses their needs.

“I expect this innovative use of information technology will further strengthen the quality of services for victims,” said Timor-Leste’s Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus.

Chargé d’affaires for the Australian Government, Phillipa Venning, believes that the new app could be a lifesaver for victims of domestic violence by providing the means to quickly access high-quality assistance and support. At the launch event, she stated “working towards eliminating violence against women remains a major priority for the Australian aid program, and we are proud to support the Timorese Government’s strong leadership role on this issue.”

The media kit launched today contains resources to assist journalists in covering violence against women and children through a respectful and dignified lens. The toolkit aims to help members of the media achieve a deeper understanding of violence against women, and how to develop news stories that are based on evidence and presented in a sensitive manner. The media kit builds on media training provided by the Timor-Leste Government with support from the Nabilan Program.

“The media has to make efforts to learn about this important issue, and develop stories that are responsible, that don’t insult victims,” said Timor-Leste’s Secretary of State for Social Communications, Merício Juvenal dos Reis ‘Akara’.

Violence against women is widespread in Timor-Leste, with domestic or intimate partner violence reported as the most common form. According to the 2015 Nabilan Health and Life Experiences Study, 59% of ever-partnered women reported experiencing physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime. 47% reported having experienced violence in the previous year. The study also found high rates of childhood trauma and abuse.

The Nabilan Program is an eight-year $24 million (AUD 32 million) commitment from the Australian Government supporting Timorese society and government in ending violence against women and children and providing victims with high quality services. The program is implemented in Timor-Leste by The Asia Foundation.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work

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Related locations: Timor-Leste
Related programs: Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality
Related topics: Nabilan

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
[email protected]

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