23 June 2012

UNFPA helps strengthen the Judicial System Monitoring Program's Victim Support Service

UNFPA Press Release For immediate release: June 22nd, 2012 - On Friday, June 22nd, the handover of a vehicle donated by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) to the JSMP-VSS (Judicial System Monitoring Program,s Victim Support Service) took place in Dili. JSMP-VSS is a key partner in the referral network of support services providing legal support for victims of Gender Based Violence in Timor-Leste. UNFPA's donation was made following a direct request by VSS for funds to purchase a new vehicle to improve the quality of their service delivery to victims of domestic violence.

JSMP-VSS carries out vital work providing legal assistance and advice to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault often living in remote areas. The VSS accompanies victims and witnesses to the police, prosecutors, and courts, and brings them to safe houses. The VSS also provides follow up services with local authorities and helps clients to access other referral services such as medical and counseling services.

In the past there have been delays in reaching victims of GBV because of the lack of access to transport which has impacted on the quality and quantity of assistance provided to clients. At present, the VSS does not have its own car for activities in eight districts including Dili, Aileu, Liquisa, Ermera, Baucau, Manatutu, Viqueque and Lautem, and has to rely on vehicles borrowed from other JSMP departments when available or motorcycles, rented cars and taxis in order to implement their program activities.

The Executive Director, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Luis de Oliveira Sampaio JSMP believes that with the funds provided by UNFPA to purchase this car will improve the quality and quantity of assistance that VSS is able to provide to its clients, will improve the security of VSS staff, and will contribute to the achievement of access to justice for victims of gender based violence in Timor Leste.

UNFPA has been supporting JSMP-VSS since 2004, under the SEPI/UNFPA programme to address GBV in Timor-Leste. The handover ceremony was attended by Dr. Domingas Bernardo, UNFPA representative OIC, Executive Director, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Lisa Mortimer, the JSMP - VSS advisor, Marcelina Maria Fernanda Amaral, Interim Coordinator VSS and UNFPA and VSS staff members .

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