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Women’s legal service to address COVID-19 violence with new partnership

A Western Australian women’s legal service body has partnered with BHP to respond to the significant rise in domestic and family violence across the state.

user iconNaomi Neilson 20 August 2020 SME Law
Western Australia
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BHP has partnered with Women’s Legal Service Western Australia (WLSWA) for two years to deliver a pilot program in Pilbara at a time when family and domestic violence due to the COVID-19 pandemic is on a significant rise, particularly in the state. 

The program will connect victims with support more easily with a state-wide telephone service, virtual office, community legal education and the services of a duty lawyer. 


WLSWA board chair Zoe Henham said it is a challenging time for the organisation due to the current coronavirus environment, but the partnership will serve women that need legal advice with free services and information on protection and care. 

“The effect of the partnership is WLSWA will extend its vital legal resources to women across Western Australia, providing them with free legal advice in the areas of family law, family violence, protection, care of children and criminal injuries compensation,” she said. 

The service’s CEO Gillian Booth-Yudelman said she believes that family and domestic violence services are vital in the region, as often the tyranny of distance hampers the women from accessing appropriate legal support and advice. Women in this area tend to have limited access to generalist legal and support services. 

“We know the outcomes will be better and their families and communities be stronger if they access a dedicated [trauma-informed, gender-specific] and culturally appropriate service,” Ms Booth-Yudelman said. 

“WLSWA is a state-wide service that can fill this unique and urgent need.”