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Media release: Seamless support for Central Coast victims of violence

21 Feb 2018

A new service will combine legal assistance and advocacy with social support to help Central Coast victims of domestic and family violence rebuild their lives.

The Legal Aid NSW Central Coast Domestic Violence Unit, funded by the Commonwealth and launched by Attorney-General Christian Porter in Wyong on Wednesday, will offer seamless support to people affected by violence. 

Legal Aid NSW Family Law Director Kylie Beckhouse said: "This new Domestic Violence Unit will put committed professionals on the ground who specialise in supporting and advocating for victims of violence."

"Domestic violence does not discriminate and it can affect people from all walks of life and from all postcodes. We know however that the Central Coast is a region where there is significant need for legal and non-legal responses to this often hidden menace." 

"The dedicated social worker and lawyers who make up the Central Coast Domestic Violence Unit will help give victims in this region a voice by offering a wrap-around service that takes all their needs into account." 

"Our service will work closely with those local organisations that already do so much important work in tackling family violence in this community." 

Based at Gosford, the service will deliver specialist support in other Central Coast locations of greatest need. 

Dedicated lawyers who understand the effects of trauma will attend apprehended domestic violence order list days at Wyong Local Court each week, identifying and offering immediate free help to victims of domestic violence. In addition to their work on the frontlines, lawyers will deliver intensive casework for clients facing legal issues including divorce, child abduction and financial abuse. 

Beyond the courtroom, a dedicated social worker will support vulnerable clients who have experienced domestic and family violence, whether by helping women and children keep a roof over their head, contacting Centrelink on their behalf or connecting them with counsellors.
 
Legal Aid NSW Family Law Director Kylie Beckhouse and Central Coast Domestic Violence Unit Senior Solicitor Melanie Alexander are available for interview. 

Media Contact: Sophie Tarr (02) 9213 5208 or 0419 212 334