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Domestic Violence Unit

Who we are

The Domestic Violence Unit is a specialist domestic and family violence service at Legal Aid NSW.

Our Unit is made up of lawyers and social workers who work together to help clients who have experienced domestic and family violence, with their legal and social needs.

The Domestic Violence Unit can help clients better understand their legal problems and the choices they have.

There is no cost involved with seeing one of our lawyers or social workers. We are separate from other Legal Aid NSW lawyers. This means we can provide assistance even if clients are in dispute with someone who is receiving help from another Legal Aid office.

Who we help

We can help victims of domestic and family violence with their legal and social needs. Clients can bring a person they trust like a support worker, close friend or family member. We can also book an interpreter to assist.

How we can help

We can help with:

  • Help with getting an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)
  • Sorting out arrangements for children
  • Sorting out property problems after separation
  • Getting a  divorce
  • Getting child support and /or maintenance
  • Help with sorting out problems with Community Services (FaCS, once called DOCS)
  • Help with victims support
  • Immigration issues where a relationship has broken down because of domestic and family violence
  • Assistance with legal problems to do with paying the mortgage, credit and debt issues and housing
  • Help with defending an ADVO in some circumstances. For example if you are a victim of domestic and family violence
  • Help with defending domestic violence criminal charges in some circumstances

Lawyers from the Domestic Violence unit provide services at free advice clinics and at the below local courts:

WyongPort Kembla (monthly)
Toronto (monthly) 

Services we provide:

  • Legal advice (by appointment, on the telephone or at free advice clinics)
  • Help at court alongside the AVO list (see table above of which courts)
  • Casework assistance in a range of legal matters including apprehended domestic violence orders, family law and care and protection matters
  • Social work support including help with safety planning
  • Community legal education about domestic and family violence for community groups and other professionals
  • Referral to other legal and non-legal help

The DVU has partnered with the Family Law Early Intervention Unit and Settlement Services International to provide a comprehensive community legal education program about the legal protections for victims of domestic and family violence, as well as about Australian law and caring for and keeping children safe in Australia.

If you would like more information about the DVU and services provided by the Domestic Violence Unit, please phone 1800 979 529.

To learn more about domestic and family violence, the law, and where to get help, see the Family Violence Law Help website.