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Women’s safety package – legal assistance

In September 2015, the Australian Government announced a $100 million package of measures to provide a safety net for women and children at high risk of experiencing violence. This package included $15 million over three years to help women at risk of domestic violence access legal assistance.

This funding established a pilot program of 12 new specialist domestic violence units and four new health justice partnerships, and expanded one existing health justice partnership.

In October 2016, the Australian Government announced additional funding of $5 million to extend the pilot program of specialist domestic violence units and health justice partnerships for an additional year.

As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Government announced an additional $3.4 million over two years to establish six new specialist domestic violence units and expand one existing domestic violence unit.

Specialist domestic violence units

Specialist domestic violence units provide an intensive front-line service that delivers vital legal assistance tailored to each woman's circumstances.

A case management approach assists women to access other support services such as financial counselling, tenancy assistance, trauma counselling, emergency accommodation, family law services and employment services.

The following organisations are delivering specialist domestic violence units:

The following organisations will be delivering specialist domestic violence units from early 2018:

Health justice partnerships

Through health justice partnerships, legal professionals train doctors and health workers to better identify and respond to domestic violence by making referrals to support services, including legal services. Lawyers also provide advice and assistance on-site to patients at hospitals and health centres, helping women to access help in a safe location.

The following organisations are delivering the health justice partnerships: