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.

Contact List

If you would like to get in touch with Working Group members, please contact the PILON Secretariat.

CountryNamePositionOrganisation
SamoaSu'a Hellene Wallwork (chair)Acting Attorney GeneralAttorney General of Samoa
American SamoaLaura GarveyActing Attorney GeneralAttorney General Office
American SamoaFaith VaifaunaVictims AdvocateAttorney General Office
American SamoaFarah SefoVictims AdvocateAttorney General Office
AustraliaDana EsperanzaAssistant DirectorAttorney General Department
Cook IslandStuart BakerSolicitor GeneralCrown Law Office
FSMHon Joses GallenSecretary for Justice/Attorney GeneralDepartment of Justice
KiribatiTetiro SemilotaAttorney GeneralOffice of the Attorney General
NauruRonald Bei TalasasaDirector of Public ProsecutionsDepartment of Justice and Border Control
New ZealandCharlotte BrookActing Deputy Solicitor GeneralCrown Law Office
New ZealandJoanne MildenhallSenior Crown CounselCrown Law Office
NiueJustin KampalaSenior Crown CounselCrown Law Office
PNGJosephine PitmurDeputy SecretaryDepartment of Justice and Attorney General
PNGLillian IpuAssistant SecretaryDepartment of Justice and Attorney General
RMIRichard HicksonAttorney GeneralOffice of the Attorney General
Solomon IslandsRachel OlutimayinDirector of Public ProsecutionsOffice of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Solomon IslandsAndrew KelesiDeputy Director of Public ProsecutionsOffice of the Director of Public Prosecutions
TongaLinda Simiki Folaumoetu’iAttorney General and DPPAttorney General’s Office
TuvaluEselealofa ApineluAttorney GeneralOffice of the Attorney General
TuvaluEfren JogiaSenior Crown OfficerOffice of the Attorney General
VanuatuJosaia Naigulevu'Director of Public ProsecutionsOffice of the Public Prosecutor

Draft documents

There are no draft documents at this time

Published resources

Please visit the Digital Library to download this Working Group’s published documents.

Learning Resources

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 pilon@pilonsec.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 pilon@pilonsec.org for more information.

 

Watch video online

Next meeting details

Our next meeting is scheduled for:

Date: TBC
Time: TBC
Type: Videoconference

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.