New legal aid helpline launched for Domestic violence matters in Queensland

Due to the high level of demand for domestic violence legal services, a new helpline has been launched to cater for this need, courtesy of Women’s Legal Service (WLS) Queensland. In 2015, domestic violence services reflected a 40 per cent increase in demand after WLS offered free social work and legal services to the victims and the number was estimated to be approximately 3,700 Queensland women. On the other hand, this also entails that more than twenty thousand calls went without being answered simply because WLS was only able to assist one in ten women who attempted to access the domestic legal aid services that the organisation offered the victims.

Lately, similar increase in domestic violence services has been experienced by legal aid lawyers and Family law specialists all over Queensland. Now, women experiencing domestic violence matters in the region can put smiles on their faces because the new helpline is expected to improve the community’s effort towards delivering free social work and domestic violence legal aid services to the affected women. After the holiday season which is testing the organisation’s new system, WLS definitely experienced a spike in demand for their services. The coordinator also said that as early as next week, women who are contacting WLS after they have experienced domestic violence will get a better chance to be represented by the legal community in this time of year.

As a matter of fact, the WLS community was in a position to respond to six times more calls than the last recorded number on the first day of the new helpline last week. According to a statement from WLS, an independent evaluation found that thousands of additional women in Queensland will be able to access the helpline as its implementation is expected to result in a higher capacity percentage. The helpline team also suggested that in order to meet the huge unmet demand and keep the initiative moving forward, it was essential to maintain the ongoing help from surrounding community, businesses, and the government.

In addition, WLS has put successful measures in place to enable more access to the service. Also, for the program to deal with more urgent needs WLS decided to place a triage system by increasing their working hours and now they are open five days a week as compared to the previous working hours which was four days a week. The lawyers have also put in place easier appointments in order to allow more access for regional or rural women suffering from domestic violence.

Written by Joseph Craig

Joseph Craig is a writer, blogger, legal researcher and best-selling author of dozens of technology, law, digital marketing and self-development books and courses. You can contact him at josephcraigwrites@gmail.com

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