16 Days Against Violence Campaign Day 11

Law and police reform

While reform has occurred in recent years of both the legal and police systems, significant gaps remain. McAuley Community Services for Women is particularly concerned about the lack of resources for police and the legal system in general.

“We would like to see additional funding for women’s legal services to, at a minimum, offer all women attending court access to a duty lawyer,” CEO Jocelyn Bignold said.

“We also support the magistrates’ call for more resources to help them get through the volume of family violence matters presenting daily in courts.”

McAuley Community Services for Women recommends that family violence advisory units in all police stations are established, legal aid is extended to all family violence matters and that training is put in place for police and magistrates.

“We believe the national inquiry into the drug ICE should look specifically at the link with family violence to help establish best practice,” Ms Bignold said.

High on the reform agenda is the importance of replicating and funding McAuley Community Services for Women’s Court Support 4 Kids program, the first of its kind in Victoria.