COORDINATOR of the Christian Care Centre, Sister Doreen Awaiasi says she is very happy to be part of the family violence and youth justice workshop that ended on Friday.
Sister Doreen said the workshop has given her the opportunity to sit face to face with other stakeholders and especially the judges and magistrates to discuss important issues that are of relevance to her work.
“We have discussed and talked about issues of family violence and youth justice and they shared ideas and gaps in addressing the issues,” Sister Doreen said.
“I am happy that this workshop includes magistrates, judges and police officers and other important stake holders, government officials and other non-government organisation.
“We are able to understand each other’s work and address the gaps involving young victims in going to court rooms giving evidence.”
She said they have discussed other ways in which to help young traumatised victims of violence instead of going to court as a witness.
Sister Doreen said to send a child victim to sit in the witness box and face the accused in court rooms are injustices to the child victims.
She said there should be a different approach as to how court deal with child victims of violence.
The sister added that the courts are not child friendly.
This workshop has made it possible for her to share her concerns and ideas and to hear from the very people who hear the cases involving child victims in court.
“This workshop in terms of the victims of violence will make it easier for us to do their work, for at the end of the day it comes back to us how we do the referrals of the victims.”
She said in terms of her work she is happy to have attended this workshop for everyone to come up with a common understanding in relation to addressing the issues of family violence and youth justice.
Also speaking at the end of the workshop, Joana Kenilorea Hanu from the Attorney General’s office, said it is an honour to attend the workshop.
She said they are honoured to have this rare privileged to attend workshop of this level, to participate shoulder to shoulder with high level officers of the judiciary and other important stake holders of other important agencies, and non government organisation.
“It has been truly a time well spent and time well invested for the interest of this country,” she said.
She thanked the NZ government to support this programme.
“You have seen the importance of assisting us with these issues in the Solomon Islands.”
The four day intensive workshop involved debates, discussions, sharing of ideas and looking at ways to address issues of family violence and youth justice.
It was funded by the New Zealand government and run by the Federal Court of Australia.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN