How we helped a victim of family violence get compensation

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How we helped a victim of family violence get compensation

If you have suffered physical, psychological or emotional injury as the result of a violent crime, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help with your recovery.

The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal can award payments for such things as counselling, medical costs, needs relating to safety and expenses that arise because of trauma.

We helped give Mandy (not her real name) peace of mind about the safety of her daughter by helping her make a claim that recognised the impact of the assault Mandy suffered years before.

How Mandy was let down by the system

Mandy conceded that she was not in a good position to look after her baby.

She had not been able to deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse or depression. But mostly she had not been able to deal with the events that had led her there.

Without significant support, she had lived through a physical assault by a sibling as well as the suicide of a family member when she was in her late teens, and she was not coping.

She first saw Victoria Legal Aid when she was pregnant, fearing her baby would be taken into care and desperately wanting to prevent it.

How we helped Mandy’s daughter remain with family

Our lawyer was able to have the baby placed with Mandy's mother, Eve (not her real name). The Court order imposed conditions such as accepting support and regular visits from the Department of Human Services to monitor the child’s welfare.

Eve has had care of her granddaughter Alyssa (not her real name), for almost five years now.

Mandy is in prison for offences relating to her substance abuse.

How we helped Mandy make a claim

Quality child care was recommended as part of the order, but it had become increasingly difficult for Eve to fulfil this obligation because she lived in a regional area and her car was unreliable.

Our lawyer approached the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal, detailing Mandy’s assault, how it had affected her mental health and was now indirectly impacting on her child.

As a part of that claim, the lawyer argued that Mandy’s wellbeing could be improved by enabling the purchase of an inexpensive but reliable car that would allow Alyssa to attend child care.

The magistrate made a ‘safety-related’ interim award authorising a payment to be made directly to a car yard.

This meant the child could get to day care every day in a safe way, helping Eve satisfy her obligations and giving peace of mind to Mandy.

How we can help

If you have been a victim of a sexual assault, rape, violent attack or family violence, we have information about:

We also have information about how you may be able to get financial help from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal.

You can also call us:

If we can’t help, we can refer you to other organisations that can.

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