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Domestic Violence Duty Scheme

The Domestic Violence Duty Scheme (DVDS) is a statewide specialist service funded by Legal Aid NSW. We pay private lawyers to assist women and children experiencing domestic violence in court proceedings.

Who we help

Women and children experiencing domestic violence in need of legal protection through an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO).

How we can help

Advice and assistance

We give free independent advice to clients (including police clients) on ADVOS, family law, care and protection and victim’s support.

We can also refer clients to other services for more legal help.


We can prepare your matter and represent you in court in private ADVO applications in mentions and in hearings through a grant of legal aid. This includes defending ADVOs if you are a victim of domestic violence.


Private lawyers attend court on AVO list days in 28 metropolitan and regional local courts.
The DVDS currently operates in the following local courts:

Metropolitan Local Courts:
CampbelltownMt DruittWaverely
Downing CentreNewtownWindsor

Lawyers from the Legal Aid NSW Domestic Violence Unit provide services at:

WyongPort Kembla (monthly)
Toronto (monthly) 
Regional Local Courts:
DubboPort KemblaPort Macquarie

DVPS solicitors work closely with their local Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS). Where no DVDS is available WDVCAS staff can place you in contact with a private practitioner who can represent you, if you are eligible, with a grant of legal aid.