North Queensland Women’s Legal Service lobbies for domestic violence hub.


MEDIA RELEASE                                                                12 October 2015

NQ Women’s Legal Service lobbies for domestic violence hub

Twenty calls a day go unanswered on the free legal advice line operated by the North Queensland Women’s Legal Service (NQWLS) due to a funding shortfall.

NQWLS Director Anne Lewis said the Federal Government’s proposed domestic violence hub in Townsville could be the answer for those women not able to get through on the phone.

“With 20 years’ experience providing free legal services to women who live anywhere from Sarina in the south, north to the Torres Strait and west to the Northern Territory border, the NQWLS is well placed to operate this service,” she said.

“Our understanding is that the domestic violence units would be created within existing legal services so lawyers, social workers and cultural liaison services can be accessed in the one place.

“This is a promising initiative that could provide meaningful assistance to the growing number of women in our community affected by domestic violence.

“During 2014-15, NQWLS received 5237 requests for free legal help, with around 49 per cent of those women affected by family or domestic violence.

“Telstra data shows that during that time 4227 calls to the NQWLS 1800 free legal advice line went unanswered. That is roughly 20 calls, every working day of the week.

“Population growth in North Queensland and increasing numbers of women seeking help for domestic or family violence means that NQWLS resources are constantly stretched.

“We offer legal advice, casework assistance and referrals at our offices in Townsville and Cairns, duty lawyer services at the domestic violence courts in both cities and operate monthly advice clinics in Ayr, Charters Towers, Ingham, Innisfail, Atherton, Mareeba, Port Douglas and Mossman.

“Our dedicated staff know first-hand the benefits of an integrated community response in our local communities as NQWLS is a member of the Townsville integrated community response to domestic violence, known as Dovetail, and the Cairns Collective Impact on Family & Domestic Violence.

“NQWLS also works to prevent domestic and family violence through its community legal education activities which include workshops for schools and community groups about issues such as dating violence, domestic violence, cyber-bullying and healthy relationships.”


For more information contact:

Communications Consultant Liz Inglis 0419 643 494

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