Women’s Legal Service Victoria: A determined advocate for women’s rights in Victoria

September 06, 2023 |

The Women’s Legal Resource Group (now Women’s Legal Service Victoria) was founded in 1982 to challenge and improve the law to better serve women and girls. Lawyers, students, and women interested in the law joined forces to provide drop-in and telephone support for women in crisis and educate women and girls about their rights. It was Australia’s first Women’s Legal Service.  

Today, Women’s Legal’s lawyers, social workers and financial counsellors support thousands of women experiencing family violence to find safety and get free legal advice.  

The team continues to challenge unsafe and discriminatory policies and laws and advance the rights of women. The legal centre’s Small Claims, Large Battles project gave women recovering from family violence a better chance of accessing their fair share of superannuation after separation. The project successfully secured life-changing reforms for women, including laws to help stop family violence perpetrators hiding their super assets, and support for women on no or low incomes to access legally assisted dispute resolution for small property claims. 

Across the life of the organisation, thousands of professionals who work with women have completed Women’s Legal training to better understand the law and navigate the legal system safely. For more than a decade, Safer Families training has supported lawyers in Community Legal Centres to recognise and respond to the complex dynamics of family violence, contributing to justice system improvements that better support the safety and wellbeing of women across Victoria.  

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