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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

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.

Family Violence Law Help

Legal Aid NSW developed the website, Family Violence Law Help on behalf of National Legal Aid. Learn more about Family Violence Law Help.

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

Legal Aid NSW has a variety of resources including guidelines, tip sheets and information about domestic and family violence. You can also access the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book.

Contact us

Other useful contacts

NSW Police

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

Victims Services

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

1800 979 529

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

ACON-Another Closet

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