Subject: BBC: Timorese combat domestic violence

Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 13:29 GMT

Timorese combat domestic violence

The authorities in East Timor have launched a campaign against domestic violence, which they say is widespread in the territory.

The United Nations administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, said domestic violence had become a cancer in Timorese society, and should be eradicated.

Official statistics for December last year show that nearly 40% of all reported crimes were cases of domestic violence or violence against women, such as rape and sexual assault.

The authorities say that cases of political and social violence have plummeted in East Timor in the past two years, but domestic violence is still prevalent.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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