(Nukuʻalofa, Tonga) Survivors of domestic violence (DV) or gender-based violence (GBV) can now access justice with more comprehensive legal support provided online by the Tonga Family Protection Legal Aid Centre (FPLAC). The online portal with a mobile app, launched today, will enable survivors to obtain information on relevant laws and mechanism, establish safety plans and report family violence directly to FPLAC. The development of the online system for the legal aid services was made possible through the support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
The digital platform will allow FPLAC officers to reach out to potential clients and provide remote legal counsels and referrals to other service providers within the National Referral Network, in line with the National Service Delivery Protocol. This will be one of the first integrated legal aid services provided on digital platforms for DV and GBV survivors globally.
Survivors will also be able to do so remotely, without the need to travel to and from the FPLAC office located in Nukuʻalofa, the capital of Tonga on the main island of Tongatapu, hundreds of kilometres and long boat rides away from the other major Tongan island groups. The online system ensures that they can access online legal services completely anonymously and safely, which is critically important given the stigma many survivors fear. Continue reading