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Women experiencing violence need legal advice

Emma Scott discusses Rights of Women's challenge to the lawfulness of evidence requirements preventing victims of domestic violence from qualifying for family legal aid

19 April 2016

'I'm in a legal black hole. I don't qualify for legal aid and cannot afford a solicitor. So, after years of sexual and emotional abuse, I am left to deal with my son's father (the perpetrator) alone. How can this be right? Where do I go?'

Since 2011 we have been shouting loudly, sometimes literally, about the impact that the legal aid cuts are having on women affected by violence and their ability to access family law remedies. Women experiencing violence need specialist legal advice and representation to enable them to protect themselves and their children from violence; to divide joint assets and debts following relationship breakdown; to make arrangements for child contact; and to organise child maintenance.

The government acknowledges that domestic violence is 'often hidden away behind closed doors, with the victim suffering in silence' and has repeatedly promise...

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