East Timor UN mission urges stronger measures to end domestic violence

“Domestic violence is not a problem for the police alone,” Peter Miller, Civilian Police Commissioner at the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET), told a press conference in Dili. “As a police service, we must recognize the devastating effect of domestic violence on our communities and we must take steps to address it.” According to UNTAET, 382 incidences of domestic violence reported last year represented only 15 per cent of the total number of cases. The Director of UNTAET’s Human Rights Unit, Patrick Burgess, stressed that domestic violence was primarily perpetrated by men, and therefore “men are the ones who need to change mentalities – not to be violent, but also not to allow others around them to be violent.” Today’s press conference, organized by UNTAET’s Office of Communication and Public Information, was part of a nationwide media campaign to disseminate information on domestic violence throughout each of East Timor’s 13 districts.

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