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It was with much hope and expectation that the inauguration of the new ‘Fatin Hakmatek' service took place at Oecusse Hospital on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. This new service will provide much needed emergency medical care for the many survivors of gender-based violence in Oecusse. The ‘Fatin Hakmatek' service provides trauma counseling, medical forensic examination, and other psycho-social support for those affected by gender-based violence.

According to data from the Timor-Leste Demographic Health Survey (2010), Oecusse has the third highest reported rate of physical violence in Timor-Leste, following Covalima and Manufahi, Over half of the women surveyed in Oecusse district (56%) reported suffering physical violence since the age of 15.Mr. Pornchai Suchitta, UNFPA Representative in Timor-Leste, acknowledged the urgent need to increase the number of trained professionals working to prevent and protect from domestic and gender-based violence, so that effective and rapid responses may be carried out. UNFPA and the Spanish Cooperation's MDG Achievement Fund for Gender currently provide direct support to other referral network partners, such as, Fokupers, JSMP, Casa Vida and the Holy Spirit Sisters in Salele, to provide survivors of gender-based violence with psychosocial care, shelter and legal assistance. Mr. Pornchai noted that supporting these services and partners are important first steps in helping to address some of the existing gaps in service provision.  These gaps will also be addressed by the government's forthcoming National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.

Mr. Pornchai congratulated PRADET and the Ministry of Health on establishing this service in Oecusse, and thanked all present for their commitment to address the problem of gender-based violence in Timor-Leste.  In his closing remarks, Mr. Pornchai noted that ‘Every individual, be it a woman, man or child, has the right to live in dignity, to be protected within their family, and to be free of fear, coercion and discrimination. This violence can no longer be viewed as a matter which is dealt with behind closed doors or just by one institution or sector or agency - it is all our responsibility.'

The ceremony was organized by Ministry of Health and PRADET and it­­­ was attended by representatives from AusAid, the Spanish Cooperation, government ministries, PNTL, representatives from the Church, NGOs and UN agencies.