Welcome to the Members’ page for the Sexual & Gender Based Violence Working Group. Here you will find tools and resources to assist you in progressing working group projects.
If you would like to get in touch with Working Group members, please contact the PILON Secretariat.
|Samoa||Su'a Hellene Wallwork (chair)||Acting Attorney General||Attorney General of Samoa|
|American Samoa||Laura Garvey||Acting Attorney General||Attorney General Office|
|American Samoa||Faith Vaifauna||Victims Advocate||Attorney General Office|
|American Samoa||Farah Sefo||Victims Advocate||Attorney General Office|
|Australia||Dana Esperanza||Assistant Director||Attorney General Department|
|Cook Island||Stuart Baker||Solicitor General||Crown Law Office|
|FSM||Hon Joses Gallen||Secretary for Justice/Attorney General||Department of Justice|
|Kiribati||Tetiro Semilota||Attorney General||Office of the Attorney General|
|Nauru||Ronald Bei Talasasa||Director of Public Prosecutions||Department of Justice and Border Control|
|New Zealand||Charlotte Brook||Acting Deputy Solicitor General||Crown Law Office|
|New Zealand||Joanne Mildenhall||Senior Crown Counsel||Crown Law Office|
|Niue||Justin Kampala||Senior Crown Counsel||Crown Law Office|
|PNG||Josephine Pitmur||Deputy Secretary||Department of Justice and Attorney General|
|PNG||Lillian Ipu||Assistant Secretary||Department of Justice and Attorney General|
|RMI||Richard Hickson||Attorney General||Office of the Attorney General|
|Solomon Islands||Rachel Olutimayin||Director of Public Prosecutions||Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions|
|Solomon Islands||Andrew Kelesi||Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions||Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions|
|Tonga||Linda Simiki Folaumoetu’i||Attorney General and DPP||Attorney General’s Office|
|Tuvalu||Eselealofa Apinelu||Attorney General||Office of the Attorney General|
|Tuvalu||Efren Jogia||Senior Crown Officer||Office of the Attorney General|
|Vanuatu||Josaia Naigulevu'||Director of Public Prosecutions||Office of the Public Prosecutor|
There are no draft documents at this time
Case Study-Good practice examples in supporting vulnerable witnesses
This video recording is brought to you by the Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Working Group
PILON Sexual & Gender Violence: “Supporting Witnesses Through the Prosecution Of Sexual Offences”
Samoa – Silupevaelei Rexona Titi-Reti
The Pacific Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Sexual and Gender Based Violence Working Group is please to present, Silupevaelei Rexona Titi-Reti, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Prosecution Division has kindly shared her experiences of supporting vulnerable witnesses in the criminal justice system.
To view video please click here
Kiribati-Case Study on Supporting Vulnerable Witnesses (SGBV)
Kiribati has a lot of sexual offences in the country. Regarding vulnerable witnesses, we have experienced lots of difficulties in dealing with them due to limited skills and resources. However, despite these difficulties, we managed to achieve what we wanted from some of them. One successful experience is captured below:
One rape case involving a young girl aged 11 years. This girl was raped by her uncle and step grandfather. The first time the victim was brought to us in a police vehicle, we realised that she was a difficult witness. She reluctant to visit us, she was scared, lonely and embarrassed. She was so quiet and did not want to talk and would not appreciate someone being with her. On that first day, interviewing her was not possible therefore we spent that whole day trying to find a way to build her confidence and to allow her to know us (friendly approach – know each other approach).
For instance, without mentioning her case, we spent time chatting about what she wanted us to do such as, her preference for the transport, what she loved to do the most, whether she wanted us to pick her up from home instead of the police, send the men to prison and so forth (to understand her position to the case). From this, we could tell that she really wanted the accused to be imprisoned but she did not say much.
When she indicated her position ie. wanting us to imprison the men, we then tried to explain to her that we could not do that unless she helped us and explained to her how she could assist us (to let her understand our position or what we wanted from her). We encouraged her to think about what we said before we met the next day.
On the next day, the girl came again. She changed a bit – she smiled at us and talked more than the previous day. On this day we took care of the girl ourselves and told the police that we would drop her home. We started talking with her about good things such as entertainment on the island, what she did at home and so forth; we used these type of questions to show we are just friends and be there to help her. We even took her to the restaurant and had a chat with her away from the working place. This took us about 3 days to try to get what we wanted from her.
On the third day she ran to the car and she talked a lot. She even told us that she was happy to assist us to send the two accused to prison. When we asked how, she responded saying that she was ready to tell the court about what the two men did to her. From there we started interviewing her on the incident and advised her of what would happen in Court such as the Court’s setting, the kind of questions she would expect to be raised to her, etc.
In Court during the trial the child was perfectly fine and she was more than we expected. The two accused were sent to prison and one of them got more than 10 years imprisonment.
Following the trial, and during our next visit on the island, the same girl approached me with her son and we both spent the whole day talking in my room. She became my friend.
Solomon Islands : Ms Margaret Suifa’asia
The Pacific Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Sexual and Gender Based Violence Working Group is please to present, Ms Margaret Suifa’asia, Chief Legal Officer, Solomon Islands Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, discusses her development of guidelines and other materials for prosecutors and witness support officers to support complainants and other witnesses throughout the prosecution of sexual offences cases in the Solomon Islands. Ms. Siufa’asia developed the materials and during her participation in the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department’s Remote Legal Policy Twinning Program in 2021.
The views expressed in this videos are those of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the views of policies of PILON, or any of the PILON member agency.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
PILON Sexual and Gender Based Violence Working Group Project: Sharing Positive Experiences of Supporting Vulnerable Witnesses – June 2021
The Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network (PILON) Sexual and Gender Based Violence Working Group is please to present the first in a series of short online videos focused on sharing positive experiences of supporting vulnerable witnesses. In this video recording, three prosecutors from the Solomon Islands have kindly shared their experiences of supporting vulnerable witnesses in the criminal justice system.
Speaker 1: Margaret Adifaka Suifa’asia, Chief Legal Officer, Solomon Islands Department of Public Prosecutions
Speaker 2: Olivia Ratu Manu, Principle Legal Officer, Solomon Islands Department of Public Prosecutions
Speaker 3: Dalcy Belapitu Oligari, Principle Legal Officers, Solomon Islands Department of Public Prosecutions
The views expressed in this videos are those of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of PILON, or any of the PILON member agency.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Next meeting details
Our next meeting is scheduled for:
In advance of each Working Group meeting, the PILON Secretariat will send group members a Zoom link. If you have not received a link by the morning of your videoconference, please contact the PILON Secretariat.
To find some handy guides for best practice engagement in meetings, webinars and workshops held over Zoom, please visit Videoconferencing.