Royal Commission into Family Violence submission

Royal Commission into Family Violence submission

Legal assistance is critical to prevent family violence and stop it from escalating but many people are missing out on the help they need.

Read our Submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (docx, 218.94 KB).

Summary

This submission makes 35 recommendations to improve the legal response to family violence and maximise the effectiveness of legal services and court intervention to interrupt the cycle of violence.

We support a system that:

  • recognises the unique preventative role and value of family violence legal services for both applicants and respondents
  • improves the operational processes supporting the legal response to family violence
  • promotes rehabilitation where appropriate once a criminal justice response is triggered by responding to the individual circumstances of people who commit criminal offences in the context of family violence
  • provides a better response to children and young people who use violence in the home informed by the different characteristics of young people
  • delivers a response that can deal efficiently and effectively with the multiple and complex legal and non-legal needs of people and families who experience family violence
  • responds to the broader legal impacts and consequences of family violence, including underlying and related legal issues that will often needed addressing to achieve safe and lasting solutions.

For the justice system to deliver on these objectives, a greater commitment to resourcing is required. Without an injection of funding that is committed over the long term, the system will fall short of delivering on a sustainable and effective response to family violence. This includes assessing and addressing the downstream impacts for the legal assistance sector of any future changes to the system response to family violence.

Read our contributions to the commission

We have provided these documents to the commission

Also read the Royal Commission into Family Violence's transcripts from the public hearings, which includes appearances from our:

  • Leanne Sinclair on 4 August 2015
  • Helen Fatouros on 6 August
  • Nicole Rich on 7 August.

Victoria Legal Aid supports information sharing which prioritises safety, empowers survivors of family violence, and encourages both victims and perpetrators to seek help. Read our submission to the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s consultation on family violence information sharing legislation (docx, 174.99 KB).

Media releases

Many miss out on critical legal help in overburdened family violence system

Victoria Legal Aid welcomes Royal Commission recommendations on expanded family violence courts

About the Royal Commission

In March 2016, the Royal Commission into Family Violence made 227 recommendations on how Victoria's response to family violence can be improved. Read the report on the Royal Commission website.