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Legal Services

Women who experience family and domestic violence can be particularly disadvantaged in accessing justice. Getting early legal assistance is essential and can help women to understand their situation and make informed decisions about their lives.

Please find information about common legal services below or search in our services directory to find a service provider close to your location.

On this page:

Legal need for those experiencing FDV are many and varied. Support may be needed in several complex areas, including:

  • Physical, psychological, sexual, verbal, financial, social, spiritual and any other injuries from family violence
  • Parenting and relationship related matters
  • Removal of children from your care
  • Criminal offences
  • Employment
  • Centrelink/welfare
  • Special needs
  • Elder abuse
  • Pet abuse
  • Property distribution
  • Tenancy/homelessness

Legal Support

Types of legal support available from legal assistance services includes legal information, advice and representation.

Legal information is general information that may be provided to you to explain a certain area of the law. For example, you may ring a legal information line, or read information about family and domestic violence law on a website.

Legal advice is when a lawyer applies the law to your specific matter.

Legal representation is when a lawyer performs legal work on your behalf, such as representing you at court.  

Types of Legal Assistance Services

Legal Aid Western Australia

Legal Aid WA is a government agency proving legal information and referrals (through their website and legal info line), legal advice and legal representation. Priority is often given to help people with the greatest needs. If Legal Aid cannot help with an individual’s specific problem, they will try to refer you to someone who can

Community Legal Centres

Community legal centres are independent non-profit organisations helping people experiencing disadvantage, who cannot afford to pay a private lawyer, or are ineligible for Legal Aid. There are generalist legal centres that are place-based and assist with a range of legal issues and there are also community legal centres that specialise in an area of law or particular cohort (such as young people, or women). Most CLCs assist with family and domestic violence matters. Legal services provided by CLCs can include legal information and advice, duty lawyer services, and community legal education. CLCs also will take on casework depending on capacity and may also be able to assist with representation. CLCs may also provide non-legal support or refer you to other appropriate services to assist you.

Aboriginal Legal Service

The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA Limited (ALSWA) is a not-for-profit organisation which provides legal representation and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Western Australia.

ALSWA plays a vital role within WA’s justice system, working in collaboration and partnership with communities and key government and non-government partners to rectify legal policies and practices that impact adversely and disproportionately on the legal and human rights of WA’s First Peoples

Aboriginal Legal Services strive to Close the Gap in Aboriginal peoples’ access to justice and empower our people to implement strategies for safer communities. ALSWA provides legal assistance in a range of areas including criminal law, family law and child protection matters.

Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS)

Family Violence Prevention Legal Services have a strong commitment to educate the community about family and domestic violence and educate the community on their legal rights. These services focus on early intervention and preventative programs to help to stop problems before they occur.

Family Violence Prevention Services also offer free legal assistance in relation to family and domestic violence issues, such as criminal injuries compensation, family law, child protection and restraining orders. Aboriginal Family Legal Services strive to Close the Gap in Aboriginal peoples’ access to justice and empower Aboriginal people to implement strategies for safer communities.

Law Access

Law Access is a not-for-profit organisation that coordinates the giving of pro bono (free) legal assistance by the Western Australian legal profession.

The service is targeted at not-for-profits and individuals in genuine need of legal assistance who satisfy a means and merits test. Law Access is generally the last resort for those who cannot get legal assistance from community legal centres or legal aid.

If you are able to afford it, finding a private lawyer may be an option for you. If you are unable to afford a private lawyer, a legal assistance service may be a better option for you as they offer free or low-cost legal assistance.

All clients accessing legal services are entitled to privacy, fair treatment and respect.

Family Violence Lawyers

Family Violence Lawyers provide holistic services for victims of family violence. Services can provide legal and non-legal support and work in a collaborative manner to assist women and children experiencing domestic violence access other important services, including crisis accommodation, counselling and other support.

Please note many services offering Family Law services also include Family and Domestic Violence services.

In Western Australia’s regional area’s, a number of Legal Services can provide outreach services.

“A reasonable person given appropriate information regarding their rights, responsibilities and the pathway through the justice system is empowered to make informed decisions and take informed actions, reducing the likelihood of adverse consequences, trauma and tragedy.”

Legal Help Matters

Court Based Family Violence Services

There are a number of court based family and domestic violence services in Metropolitan Perth.

This service provides information, advocacy and support to people who have experienced violence in their relationships. Staff can discuss specific violence issues and the options available to deal with them, develop a safety plan, apply for a violence restraining order, help complete court-related documents, apply for a violence restraining order, prepare for court and in-court support, provide information about court matters and help access services such as counselling, police, legal assistance, medical care and other relevant agencies.

If any information on this page is not up to date or you have any suggestions, please contact us.

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