5 Sep 2013

American Samoa community group says talks on violence a good step

7:05 am on 5 September 2013

A community advocate in American Samoa has welcomed the Department of Homeland Security introducting a law on making human trafficking a crime.

But Fa'aalu Faletoese Iuli, the Executive Director of the Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, says it's already too late if a problem needs to be addressed by the law.

The Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mitzie Jessop says she has handled many cases that have an element of human trafficking to them, and many victims are young girls from Samoa who work in domestic labour.

Ms Iuli says places of safety must be created to give people a voice and a way to report suspected crimes.

She says talking about sexual violence is a good step.

"It's certainly not a shock, these matters ending up in court, is just the end product of what is really happening in the community, so none of us should be shocked, at all. We're celebrating an acknowledgment of a form of violence that really exists around the world, around the nation."

The Executive Director of the Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Fa'aalu Faletoese Iuli.