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Domestic Violence Unit (DVU)

What is a DVU?
The Domestic Violence Units (DVUs) are internal WLSQ programs that assist women with ongoing casework in domestic and family violence matters, family separation and/or divorce matters.

Through the DVUs, WLSQ provides intensive support to women with complex needs who are experiencing high risk domestic violence. WLSQ has DVUs in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Caboolture which provide support to women all over Queensland.

Women are assessed internally according to eligibility requirements and the capacity of the units when they connect with the WLSQ Helpline, receive a legal advice appointment from one of the WLSQ lawyers, or are referred to WLSQ.

Who can WLSQ DVUs help?
Women must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Experiencing high risk domestic violence;
  • Without access to other legal assistance options; and
  • Complex legal and social needs.

Priority will be given to women who meet the above criteria, and:

  • Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; or
  • Are from a culturally or linguistically diverse background; or
  • Have a disability.

Please note our DVUs are small programs with limited capacity. This means that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee that a woman will receive support through the DVUs.

How can WLSQ DVUs help?
Where women meet the criteria, and WLSQ has capacity, they may receive legal and social work services including:

  • Legal advice on family law and domestic violence matters.
  • Safety planning and assessment.
  • Supported referrals to a wide range of specialist and mainstream services.
  • Assistance with drafting documents.
  • Representation (in limited circumstances).
  • Assistance with Legal Aid applications.
  • Lawyer assisted mediation.
  • Practical and emotional support.

How can services refer women to the DVUs?
Services cannot provide warm referrals to the DVUs, WLSQ will assess their eligibility for the DVUs internally.

Services can refer women to WLSQ by completing the WLSQ referral form. WLSQ will then contact the woman directly to organise a suitable time for an advice appointment. Please note, you must provide WLSQ with a safe way to contact the woman.

Women can call the WLSQ Helpline on 1800 957 957, 9:00am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

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