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Strengthening supports for those experiencing domestic violence

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Cabinet Secretary
The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP

Kyam Maher MLC
SA Attorney-General

Katrine Hildyard MP
SA Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence

Joint media release

Women in regional areas who experience domestic or family violence will have improved access to face-to-face legal services following an additional investment in supports in the Upper Spencer Gulf and Limestone Coast.

The $1.66 million in funding will enable the Women's Legal Service SA to provide additional services in Port Augusta and Mount Gambier and surrounding areas.

The service currently provides remote legal support state-wide to women experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence.

Additional funding provided by the Commonwealth Government through the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-2025 will complement their existing services by enabling them to have a dedicated solicitor in each region providing face-to-face services.

The Women's Legal Service SA is aiming to work with a number of local support groups and legal assistance providers in the Upper Spencer Gulf and Limestone Coast regions – including the Pika Wiya Aboriginal Health Service in Port Augusta.

Quotes attributable to Mark Dreyfus KC, Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

Women's legal services across the country are under enormous pressure and they badly need this funding.

The Albanese Government wants to ensure funding dedicated to women's legal services reaches those who it is intended for, and need it most, in particular, women who are experiencing, or at risk of, family violence.

Quotes attributable to Kyam Maher

At present, Women's Legal Service SA provide services via outreach in the Upper Spencer Gulf and Limestone Coast regions.

While this support is much-needed and no-doubt has played an important role in helping those experiencing or at risk of experiencing domestic and family violence, it is widely agreed that face-to-face services are the preferred service delivery model for the provision of legal assistance to vulnerable clients.

The work of the Women's Legal Service SA in regional areas is vital – whether it's helping victim-survivors of domestic or family violence apply for intervention orders or to provide support with child protection matters, they do a tremendous jobs in giving people support at a time when they need it most.

This funding will ensure these services continue in a way that gives victim-survivors the help they need in an environment that's supportive and safe.

Importantly, in the Upper Spencer Gulf region, the service will be co-located with the KWY Safety Hub in Port Augusta, ensuring victim-survivors needing legal assistance can also be connected with other important support services that can help them in their time of need.

Quotes attributable to Katrine Hildyard

Women experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic violence need and deserve support to navigate the legal system – wherever they live.

Women's Legal Service SA are there for women at their hardest moments. As well as providing vital legal advice and assistance, they undertake what they do with kindness, compassion and a willingness to walk with women at a really difficult time in their lives.

This improved funding will ensure support is there for women who really need a hand to traverse the legal system, to ensure that they know they are not alone as they do so.

Quotes attributable to Zita Ngor Chief Executive Women's Legal Service SA

We welcome this commitment by the state and federal government to ensuring that women who are seeking help and protection from the law are able to access free legal help regardless of where they live.

For many women living in regional and remote areas, getting legal help can be almost impossible due to multiple barriers. This funding will go a long way to reducing some of those barriers.