Powerful talk on family violence in Timor-Leste

A powerful and moving TEDx talk from Timor-Leste highlights the intergenerational challenge of tackling family and sexual violence.

In her address to TEDxDili, activist Bella Galhos, a survivor of family violence, shares her personal story of growing up in a violent household, the struggles her mother faced in trying to separate from her father and the way the wider normalisation of violence contributes to the problem. She makes a call for change in Timor-Leste, and also lays out her plan for a ‘green school’, where children can connect with the natural environment.

A gender assessment on Timor-Leste released last year showed the high levels of violence against women, and the level of acceptance. The report showed 86% of Timorese women believed a husband could be justified in beating his wife for reasons such as neglecting children, arguing, going out without telling him, burning food or denying intercourse.

You can watch Bella’s talk below. (Note that it contains descriptions of abuse).

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Ashlee Betteridge

Ashlee Betteridge was the Manager of the Development Policy Centre until April 2021. She was previously a Research Officer at the centre from 2013-2017. A former journalist, she holds a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) from ANU and has development experience in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. She now works as a development consultant.

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