Women’s Legal Service (SA), the peak legal body for women and children across South Australia, tendered for the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service but was told it was unsuccessful by the SA Attorney General’s Department.
The 2019 State budget states that one of the savings measures was Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service, by $750,000. Women’s Legal Service (SA) offered a bid that would have provided the government with additional cost savings, whilst delivering a high-quality legal service for women and children seeking protection from domestic violence.
During 2017- 2018, 3,000 women sought legal help from Women’s Legal Service (SA). More than 62% of the women who contacted the service were survivors of domestic/family violence.
“As an organisation that is recognised for its expertise and has as its core business helping women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, we were surprised by the decision,” said Zita Ngor, CEO of Women’s Legal Service.
“We would have been able to provide wraparound legal and non-legal supports for women seeking intervention orders and help in other areas of law including family law and child protection."
Lisa McClure, Chairperson of Women’s Legal Service (SA), said that being able to have their legal needs met in one place reduces the trauma for women and their children.
“We have reached out to the Attorney General’s Department on a number of occasions but they have failed to respond to date,” Ms McClure said.
"The question is whether the State Government is really committed to transparent processes that support women in crisis."
For more information please contact Zita Ngor on (08) 8231 8929, mobile 0438 010 598 or via email at [email protected]
Women's Legal Service (SA)
Women’s Legal Service (SA) is a community legal center and the peak legal body in South Australia providing free legal assistance and representation to women across SA. WLSSA also delivers community legal education and undertakes law reform initiatives and campaigns. As a statewide service, since it was formed in 1995, WLSSA has assisted thousands of vulnerable women from Ceduna in the west, to the APY Lands in the north and Mount Gambier in the south of the state.