Aquelina Savio, The Asia Foundation (TAF) Program Officer said her organization has a training program for lawyers to increase their capacity and knowledge on the types of legal assistance they can provide female and child victims of violence.
“In 2011 TAF provided opportunities for lawyers wanting to specialise in providing legal assistance to female and child victims. Eleven participants took part in the training and did a comparative study to Indonesia to observe directly and learn with their system for providing legal assistance to women and children. They will use this experience to improve legal assistance delivery to female and child victim’s in-country,” said Officer Savio recently (19/04) from her office in Bairro dos Grillos, Dili. Officer Savio added one good development comes from the work the Victims Support Services (VSS) is providing to the victims that at the start was intended to be a service offered only once-monthly but is not a full time service. “This demonstrates very good progress.”Legal Officer VSS, Marcelina Amaral who attended the comparative study in Indonesia said the visit helped her understand better her job and of providing legal assistance to female and child victims in the community.“I think their system is very good. All the staff of the Women and Children Support UNIT must have law degrees and they also have full facilities. They have temporary shelters for victims, interview rooms and also shelters of child victims. This is very different from Timor where we lack most facilities and human resources,” said Legal Officer Amaral.She added assistance provided at the moment by the VSS includes legal counselling, temporary support to victims such as transportation to shelters and also providing support during the trial process.The VSS also provides written legal analysis for more complex cases to support prosecutors during trial.She added that monthly the VSS provides legal assistance to 15 to 20 cases of female and child victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Enter your email address: