Addressing the legal landscape of family violence in Victoria

April 28, 2022 |

Community Legal Centres have outlined the complex work they do in addressing family violence issues as part of a wide-ranging discussion with the Victorian Attorney General, Jaclyn Symes MP.

The roundtable discussion, organised by the Federation of Community Legal Centres and held on 13 April, was the third in a series of roundtable discussions between the Attorney-General and the community legal sector. The roundtables provide an opportunity for Community Legal Centres and the Attorney-General to explore current topical issues..

Last week’s discussion centred on how Community Legal Centres meet the needs of victim-survivors of family violence through partnerships with local health and community services.

Six integrated partnerships between Community Legal Centres and other community organisations were showcased, to highlight the quality and complexity of work which nearly all of Victoria’s 46 Community Legal Centres undertake to address family violence.

Discussions also focused on services to help clients resolve family violence intervention order matters prior to a court date through the Early Resolution Service, representing clients in Specialist Family Violence Courts, and strengthening the data and evidence base of Community Legal Centres to improve sector planning and service design for victim-survivors of family violence.

Topics considered at the roundtable included:

  • the link between family violence and homelessness
  • mis-identification of the primary perpetrator of family violence
  • peer education to connect more victim-survivors to legal services
  • issues of family violence relating to refugee and migrant communities

Federation of Community Legal Centres CEO Louisa Gibbs welcomed the opportunity to discuss legal challenges and opportunities with the Attorney General.

“The roundtable provided a fantastic opportunity for the Attorney-General and Community Legal Centres to discuss successful, integrated approaches to supporting victim survivors of family violence,” she said.

“During the roundtable we were able to unpack the fundamental work Community Legal Centres undertake in helping to ensure a fair and just legal system that benefits all Victorians.”

Planning is currently underway for a fourth roundtable discussion in August.

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