Domestic and family violence
What we do
Legal Aid NSW helps adults and children experiencing domestic and family violence.
We recognise that people can have many legal issues that may arise from their experience of violence.
We provide free legal advice, duty services, and case representation through grants of legal aid for matters which are eligible under our policies. We also help at some courts and tribunals across NSW.
We provide these services across criminal, family and civil law.
The types of problems Legal Aid NSW can assist with include:
- Applications for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs);
- Disputes about children, divorce and dividing property;
- Child support;
- Children’s Court matters about the care and protection of children;
- Family dispute resolution (mediation to help resolve disputes about children);
- Financial problems such as paying the mortgage, credit and debt, and housing;
- Immigration issues such as residency applications where the marriage or relationship has broken down due to domestic and family violence;
- Victim's support;
- Representation for defendants to ADVOs in some circumstances. For example, if you are a victim of domestic violence;
- Representation for defendants in domestic violence criminal charge matters in some circumstances.
Specialist domestic violence services
- Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program
- Domestic Violence Unit
- Domestic Violence Practitioner Service
Legal Aid NSW Domestic and Family Violence Strategy
Legal Aid NSW has a Domestic and Family Violence Strategy. The purpose of the Strategy is to ensure that Legal Aid NSW delivers high quality, client-centred and holistic services to people affected by domestic and family violence.
Factsheets and resources
Legal Aid NSW has some easy to understand resources to help people deal with legal problems relating to domestic and family violence.
Domestic violence policies
Legal Aid is available in Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) matters for people who need protection from domestic and family violence. Legal Aid is also available for help with defending an ADVO in exceptional circumstances (including if you are victim of domestic and family violence). See domestic and family violence related client eligibility policies and guidelines for more detailed information.
For lawyers helping clients experiencing domestic and family violence
- Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service 1800 WDVCAS
- Domestic Violence Unit 02 9219 6300
- LawAccess NSW 1300 888 529
- Find a Legal Aid NSW Advice Service
Other useful contacts
Emergency assistance in relation to domestic and family violence
000 or 112 from mobile
Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
Information, court advocacy and referral for women and children in domestic violence situations and assistance with getting an ADVO
WDVCAS receive referrals of all domestic violence reports made to NSW police about women and children under Safer Pathway
1800 WDVCAS or 1800 938 227
Support and assistance for victims of crime.
Victims services receive referrals of all domestic and family violence reports made to NSW police in relation to men under Safer Pathways
1800 633 063
1800 019 123 (Aboriginal contact line)
Counselling, information and referral (24 hours, 7 days)
1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732
Domestic Violence Line, Family and Community Services NSW
Assistance with emergency accommodation and referrals to counselling, health and legal services (24 hours, 7 days)
1800 656 463
Referrals to homelessness services across NSW (24 hours, 7 days)
1800 152 152
Domestic Violence Unit, Legal Aid NSW
Legal advice, assistance, referral and representation as well as social work support to victims of domestic and family violence
02 9219 6300
Law Access NSW
Legal assistance and referral over the phone. Victims of domestic violence are priority customers for advice
1300 888 529
Women’s Legal Service NSW
Legal advice, assistance, referral and representation for women with a focus on family law, domestic violence and sexual assault
(02) 8745 6900
1800 810 784 (Domestic Violence Legal Advice line)
National Family Violence Preventative Legal Services
The NFVPLS is a forum of service providers who provide specialist, culturally safe legal services and supports to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victim/survivors of family violence across Australia. Details for each local service provider can be assessed from NFVPLS website
LGBTIQ Specialist Services
Inner City Legal Centre, Safe relationships project
1800 244 481
Phone support and referral for male victims and perpetrators of domestic violence
1300 789 978
Men’s Behaviour Change Programs NSW
Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCPs) work with men who use violence and abuse with (ex) partners and their children. A list of accredited service providers in NSW can be accessed from the MBCP NSW website