By Gianna Huesch
The Turnbull Government admirably continues to build on its reputation for confronting the scourge of violence against women with the announcement of further funding to deliver more services to women suffering from family and domestic violence.
In an expansion of the existing pilot program delivering targeted services to women through specialist domestic violence units, the attorney-general George Brandis has revealed the Government’s new allocation of $3.4 million in funding to create another six specialist units in several areas deemed most in need of services.
At present, 12 domestic violence units have been in operation since early 2016, and in the 18 months since, have provided more than 7600 discreet services to at least 2800 clients.
The units are conceived as part of an integrated legal and social support model, where, in partnership with other service providers, women are assisted to “receive the help [they] need, including financial counselling, crisis support and accommodation, mental health support, and other practical assistance”.
A number of locations have been identified as regions with a demonstrated high need for services for women suffering from domestic and family violence, “based on consultation, evidence of legal need, and the locations of existing services”. These high priority locations for the establishment of new or expanded pilot units are:
- Legal Aid New South Wales – Central Coast, NSW
- Women’s Legal Service Victoria – online model servicing priority locations across Victoria
- Legal Aid Queensland – Rockhampton, QLD
- Southern Communities Advocacy Legal and Education Service – Rockingham, WA
- Women’s Legal Service South Australia and the Southern Community Justice Centre – South Metropolitan Adelaide, SA
- Central Australian Women’s Legal Service – Tennant Creek, NT
- Women’s Legal Service Tasmania – expansion of existing unit to the North and North-East regions of Tasmania.
The new pilot units will begin to operate early next year and will be subject to an evaluation process which will allow the providers to fine-tune their service offerings, in accordance with “early learnings and successes of the existing units”.
Do you need assistance with a family law matter? If so, please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 to arrange an initial cost-free, no-obligation consultation.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance.