New Federal funding to establish a specialist domestic violence unit

Friday 16 October 2015

New Federal funding  for the Women’s Legal Centre to establish a domestic violence unit

The Women’s Legal Centre today welcomed one of the biggest single injections into its funding in the Centre’s 20 year history. The Centre will receive $1.05 million over three years as part of the Australian Government’s recently announced $100 million package to respond to family and domestic violence.

Executive Director of the Centre, Elena Rosenman said the Centre would use this funding to establish a new specialist domestic violence unit within the Centre.

“This funding will significantly increase our ability to assist women experiencing domestic violence in the Canberra community.”

“While women in crisis need specific assistance to protect their immediate safety, to ensure that safety is sustainable and long term, women need intensive, sustained and expert legal advice and representation throughout their legal processes, particularly in the Family Court. They also need support to access other essential services. This funding will allow the Centre to provide that support to women in the Canberra community who are most at risk.”

“The Prime Minister has been clear that this a gender-based issue and I am pleased the Government has resourced a specialist women’s legal centre to address it here in Canberra. With less than three full time lawyers, last year the Women’s Legal Centre assisted 1200 women, we provided close to 3 000 pieces of advice and took on close to 200 cases. Two thirds of the women we assist have experienced domestic violence. Ninety-five percent of the Aboriginal women we assist have experienced violence. Assisting these women to keep themselves and their children safe is central to our work.”

“We are seeing an unprecedented level of interest and support from all levels of Government, both sides of politics and the broader community. We look forward to working with key domestic violence organisations and bodies in Canberra to make sure this unit is effective and responsive and part of an integrated response to domestic and family violence in our community.”