Date: 14 December 2021
NEW QUEENSLAND LEGAL SUPPORT SERVICE FOR WOMEN ON TEMPORARY VISAS EXPERIENCING VIOLENCE
With funding from the Department of Social Services, Women’s Legal Service Qld (WLSQ) is participating in a pilot program supporting women on Temporary Visas who are experiencing domestic and family violence. WLSQ has commenced a partnership with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) to provide family law and immigration legal support for clients that are eligible for the pilot.
Social and health supports like Medicare and Centrelink are limited for people on temporary visas, making it more difficult for those seeking to leave an abusive relationship. Rates of family violence among temporary visa holders have increased during the pandemic, and the WLSQ and RAILS pilot program has been created to specifically support women who hold a temporary visa (including a bridging visa or no visa) who are experiencing domestic and family violence and are financially disadvantaged.
Under this pilot, WLSQ and RAILS can assist clients in Family Law, Domestic Violence, Child protection, and migration law. In some circumstances, this will involve ongoing casework and representation, including court, tribunal, or Department of Immigration representation.
WLSQ Principal Solicitor Natasha McGrow said, “WLSQ had identified the need for a focussed service for temporary visa holders experiencing violence through their client base, and we are excited to work with RAILS on this pilot project funded by the Australian Government.”
RAILS Executive Director and Principal Solicitor Kylie McGrath said, “I can’t wait to see the outcomes that can be achieved for women when lawyers from two distinct specialisations are able to work together to navigate complex and intersecting areas of law.”
Referral forms for the pilot are available on the WLSQ and RAILS websites.