Governments must match community concern with funding for specialist legal help for women

Over the weekend, we saw a community-led groundswell of voices calling for federal action to prevent the ongoing violence against Australian women in 2024. As of 26 April, 27 women across Australia have been allegedly killed in acts of violence. 

When National Cabinet meets on Wednesday they have the opportunity to commit to matching community concern with investment in frontline domestic, family and sexual violence services.  

Women’s legal services are the specialist services for women across Australia. We provide vital legal assistance and support services to victim-survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence.  

This year, we estimate 52,000 women in crisis will be turned away from our doors, due to a lack of ongoing and sustainable funding from the Federal Government. 

Chair of the national peak body Women’s Legal Services Australia, Elena Rosenman said they had sought additional funding of $25 million in the upcoming Federal Budget for women’s legal services across Australia.  

“Women’s legal services are an essential part of the legal, social, and economic safety net for women in crisis.”

“Women affected by gender-based violence need to understand their legal options, have advice and representation through legal processes, and support to manage safety risks that often escalate during engagement with legal processes. With adequate and secure funding this is exactly the support our services can provide.” 

“All across Australia, communities are telling governments they want action. They want women who seek help in relation to domestic, family and sexual violence to be able to access the support they need.“