‘The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for people to have access to high-quality and timely legal advice and assistance about family violence matters,’ said Leanne Sinclair, Associate Director, Family Violence Response.
'We are developing ways for clients and people with an experience of the family violence legal system to have direct input and engagement as we implement these initiatives,’ said Leanne.
Shorna Moore, Director of Policy and Engagement for the Federation of Community Legal Centres said the Federation was pleased to be partnering with Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) to better address needs of family violence victim-survivors within their local communities.
‘We know an integrated approach works best for delivering a more therapeutic and specialist response to supporting victim-survivors through the family violence system,’ said Shorna.
‘Community Legal Centres (CLCs) work with a range of local community-based organisations and partners to identify and address family violence. We look forward to working with VLA to further enhance family violence initiatives across the state.’
Responding to the pandemic
Since stay at home measures were introduced in response to the pandemic, we have been working collaboratively with CLCs, the Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts of Victoria, Victoria Police and family violence services to ensure communities across Victoria continue to have access to legal advice and assistance for family violence matters.
‘Together, we have put in place new and innovative ways to increase early access and referrals to family violence legal assistance throughout Victoria, to help keep people safe during the pandemic,’ said Leanne.
We are pleased to have finalised funding arrangements with four CLCs to deliver services at the SFVCs operating at Shepparton, Ballarat and Moorabbin.
The funded services are:
- Shepparton: ARC Justice – Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre
- Ballarat: Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service
- Moorabbin: Joint service delivery by Peninsula Community Legal Centre and St Kilda Legal Service.
These CLCs will provide legal services at the courts alongside VLA and private practitioners.
They will also work with local and state-wide family violence specialist services to implement the initiatives of the SFVCs legal practice model, to ensure legal services are client-focused and responsive to the needs of the community.
We have now opened an expression of interest process for CLCs interested in providing legal services at the Frankston and Heidelberg SFVCs.
Both courts are due to open in the next 12 months.
Reviewed 14 April 2022