News, Service Updates

RAFT Project - Trialing Remote Applications for Family Violence Orders

From 18 July 2022, women in Gungahlin will be able to apply for an interim Family Violence Order (FVO) without needing to attend the ACT Law Courts Building in person, using an innovative new legal service.

The Women’s Legal Centre and Gungahlin Child and Family Centre (GCFC) will trial this service for women experiencing or at risk of family violence. The trial was developed by WLC and GCFC in response to calls for a more flexible approach to FVO applications, post-covid.

On site at the GCFC, lawyers from the Women’s Legal Centre will provide expert legal assistance to help women to apply for an FVO.

Rosa Grahame, Program Manager of the Health Justice Partnerships Program at the Women’s Legal Centre said, “this project will help vulnerable women access legal assistance in a place that is safe, child friendly and accessible”

“We know that attending court can be a frightening experience for women, and that women have practical and safety concerns about attending court in person,” Ms Grahame said.

This Project will improve access to justice for vulnerable groups who may otherwise be unable to apply for an FVO. The option to apply remotely will also increase safety at a time of heightened risk of family violence, when someone is contemplating separation.

RAFT clients will receive a range of non-legal supports via the GCFC. Clients will also be connected with the Domestic Violence Crisis Service at the time of making an application.

The trial is being delivered using existing funding allocated to the Health Justice Partnership. It will be reviewed in early 2023, with consideration of expanding it to other locations if it proves successful.