F.A.Q.

Will I have to pay for legal advice?

Generally, we do not charge our clients a fee for our services as we are a non-profit community organisation. However, in certain circumstances we may charge costs related to casework, court fees etc.

Why do you have to collect my personal information?

We collect this information so we can get an understanding of our clients and how we can best serve them with our resources. We also perform a conflict check using the other person’s name to first make sure that we haven’t already helped the other person. If we have not seen the other person, we can help you.

Can I remain anonymous and still receive advice?

No. We need to receive information such as your name so we can perform a conflict check.

How do I provide feedback?

We would love to hear from you by phone or in writing if you have feedback about our services and staff. You can write us a letter, telephone or use our feedback form found under the CONTACT US section of our website.

Can I make an appointment to see a solicitor?

No.  For any new advice you will need to telephone our office during one of our phone advice sessions and speak directly with one of our solicitors in the first instance.

What is the difference between Community Legal Centres and Legal Aid?

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) and Legal Aid both provide advice, case work and legal education to socially and economically disadvantaged people. CLCs are independent, not-for-profit, community-based organisations. CLCs are run by a committee of local community members and have the added benefit of being able to respond to local issues more flexibly. CLCs do not have a formal means test and are able to assist clients that may not be eligible for Legal Aid. Legal Aid NSW is overseen by a Board appointed by the NSW Attorney General.

Does the Centre represent clients in Courts or Tribunals?

The Centre may in some circumstances represent clients before Courts or Tribunals. However, you should not assume that a Centre Solicitor will represent you just because you have received advice from them in the past.

Legal Aid has a means test, how does the Centre decide which clients to help?

We do not have a unified means test for all our services. We may take into account some of the following factors when determining if we can assist clients:

  • Client’s income
  • Client’s geographic area
  • Whether we can provide advice on the specific area of law

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE F.A.Q.

What is domestic and family violence?

Domestic and family violence is any behaviour in an intimate or family relationship, which is violent, threatening, coercive or controlling, causing a person to live in fear. It takes many forms and involves violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by a partner, carer or family member to control, dominate, humiliate or instil fear. Domestic and family violence is a violation of human rights and is a crime. It affects people from all backgrounds and age groups.

How prevalent is domestic and family violence in NSW?

Domestic and family violence is the most prevalent form of violence that women experience in Australia. Approximately one woman is killed each week by her current or former partner in Australia and it is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 45. Current data suggests the scale of domestic violence offending and reoffending in NSW is significant:

 

  • It is estimated that only half of domestic violence victims report their most recent incident to the Police.
  • In 2013/14, there were 140,861 domestic violence related incidents reported to NSWPF (including events resulting in a charge and/or ADVO, and other incidents not requiring legal action).
  • Of matters reported to Police in 2013/14, there were: − 26,268 ADVOs granted in NSW Local Courts − 42,399 charges for domestic violence related offences proceeded to court, and 22,416 defendants charged for domestic violence offences.

Do some religious beliefs cause domestic violence?

Some abusers may use religion as an excuse for their violence. Religion is no excuse for domestic violence and use of Scriptures to justify domestic violence is unacceptable. There is nothing to support the view that it is God’s will for people to endure domestic and family violence. Some women may feel pressure from their faith or church community to ‘honour’ their commitment to marriage and stay in the abusive relationship Leaving or getting a divorce is against their religious beliefs.

Is domestic violence more prevalent in some cultures?

Domestic violence crosses all barriers of age, income, culture, religion, education and race. Culture is never an excuse for violence. Domestic and Family violence is not acceptable in any community or culture. Some abusers claim that their culture is influenced by male role being dominant and as a result they use it as an excuse to exert power and control over women and children.

I am experiencing domestic violence but the children are safe aren’t they?

Children living in a home where there is domestic violence grow up in an environment that is unpredictable, often filled with tension and anxiety.  This can lead to emotional and psychological trauma, which can affect children’s physical and emotional wellbeing.  Children do not have to see the violence to be affected.  Some of the effects of domestic violence on children include – bed wetting, nightmares, asthma, headaches, feeding difficulties, sadness, bullying, shyness, speech problems, depression and so on.

I live next door to a household where there is domestic violence but I’m too scared to do anything about it.

Do whatever you feel is possible and safe for you and your family.  If you hear or see someone being assaulted you can call 000, you can remain anonymous.

https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/domestic_and_family_violence/no_innocent_bystanders_domestic_violence_campaign

Why don’t women just leave an abusive relationship?

If you are in a domestic violence relationship the decision to leave is often a difficult one.  There may be many barriers that can stand in the way of a woman leaving an abusive relationship.  Some of the reasons may be, fear for you and your children’s safety when he finds out you have left. Fear of being alone without support, for some women leaving may mean a loss of family and community support leading to social isolation.  Financial concerns, as you might be financially dependent on your partner.  Pressure from children to stay, a woman’s belief children should be raised by two parents, fear you will loose the children.  The promise that the violence will stop, you might love your partner and just want the violence to stop.  Remember, if you know someone in a domestic violence situation it’s very important you do not make them feel like there is something wrong with them for staying in the relationship.  You can assist by listening and encouraging them to speak to a worker who can provide some guidance and support.

How prevalent is Domestic Violence?

Domestic and family violence is the most prevalent form of violence that women experience in Australia. Approximately one woman is killed each week by her current or former partner in Australia, and it is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 45. Current data suggests the scale of domestic violence offending and reoffending in NSW is significant:

  • It is estimated that only half of domestic violence victims report their most recent incident to the Police.
  • In 2013/14, there were 140,861 domestic violence related incidents reported to NSWPF (including events resulting in a charge and/or ADVO, and other incidents not requiring legal action).
  • Of matters reported to Police in 2013/14, there were: − 26,268 ADVOs granted in NSW Local Courts − 42,399 charges for domestic violence related offences proceeded to court, and 22,416 defendants charged for domestic violence offences.

OUR SERVICES

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