The Australian Government has today announced that Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) will receive funding to open a Caboolture high risk Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) and a Health Justice Partnership in the region.
Following the model established by existing WLSQ DVUs in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, the new unit will operate with a high intensity caseload to support women with extremely complex needs who are experiencing severe domestic violence.
The integrated unit will consist of a Specialist Casework Lawyer, Social Worker, Paralegal and Health Justice Partnership Lawyer to see clients at the Caboolture and Redcliffe hospitals.
Caboolture has long been identified as a domestic violence “hot spot”. The Queensland Police Service’s Statistical Review Report, reveals that in the Moreton District (Caboolture, Bribie and Redcliffe) the rate of Domestic Violence Order Applications increased from 736 in 2015/16 to 772 in 2016/17, while the number of breaches increased from 1445 in 2015/16 to 1738 in 2016/17.
Women’s Legal Service CEO Angela Lynch says the Service has witnessed first- hand the need for high risk domestic violence services in the Caboolture region through their busy Caboolture Magistrates Court Duty Lawyer Service.
“At the Caboolture Magistrates Court we see on a weekly basis very vulnerable women experiencing domestic violence while contending with multiple levels of disadvantage,” Ms Lynch said.
“We congratulate the Federal Government and the Attorney-General for funding the high risk domestic violence unit. Their commitment will mean more Queensland women and their children will receive the help they need when they reach out,”
“We look forward to working with the Caboolture and Redcliffe community to build safer futures for local women and their children experiencing domestic violence and although the funding is only for a 12 month pilot we look forward to making this program a success and proving its worth to government”.
Free legal information for women in Queensland with domestic violence, complex family law and sexual assault counselling notes matters is available through the Women’s Legal Service Queensland State-wide Helpline: 1800 957 957.