Grant for Specialist Domestic Violence Legal Support

Ewen Jones MP

Federal Member for Herbert

16 October, 2015

Grant for specialist domestic violence legal support

Federal Member for Herbert Ewen Jones today announced that the North Queensland Women’s Legal Service will receive a grant of $1.05 million over three years to help women experiencing domestic violence access vital legal assistance and other support services.

North Queensland Women’s Legal Service is being funded to establish a specialist domestic violence unit in Townsville to provide support to women. The unit will take a case management approach to ensure that services are tailored to each woman’s circumstances and will include both legal help and other practical assistance such as counselling and access to crisis accommodation.

Mr Jones said while it was disappointing to see the city’s high reported rates of domestic violence is what led the Government to base a unit in the city, it’s comforting to know the North Queensland Women’s Legal Service will now be able to do much more to assist those vulnerable people in need.

“I wish I did not have to make this announcement, but domestic violence is a very real and sad part of our community. We must provide protection and support for the victims and prosecute the offenders,” Mr Jones said.

“As a Government we’ve faced this head on through the package recently announced by the Prime Minister, and now as a community we must continue to support those most in need.”

North Queensland Women’s Legal Service, Director, Anne Lewis, said that the new funding provided by the Australian Government would mean that more local women seeking free legal help, in relation to family or domestic violence, would now be able to get that assistance.
“The increased funding will directly translate into increased access to free legal services for vulnerable women and their children,” Ms Lewis said.
“North Queensland Women’s Legal Service is pleased that the huge unmet need for access to free legal services has been recognised by the Government.
Townsville will benefit from this grant not only as a result of the increased service capacity of North Queensland Women’s Legal Service but also the partnerships with other providers that will be established to break down the barriers that women face in receiving the help they need.

This grant, as part of the Australian Government’s $100 million Women’s Safety Package, will support families that experience domestic violence, to improve women’s safety.

Under this package, $15 million over three years is being allocated for a nation-wide pilot to deliver targeted legal and related services to women through new specialist domestic violence units and health justice partnerships.

The Women’s Safety Package is intended to complement existing services and the work that state and territory governments are doing to reduce family violence.

Further information can be found at the Attorney-General’s Department website

Media contact: Ewen Jones’ Office 4725 2066