Collaborate with other services
When giving legal information to your client also provide information about services that could address their other needs and those of their children
Familiarise yourself with how to find out about appropriate non-legal support and referral services in your local area and ensure this information is provided to your client, such as domestic and family violence services, refuges, children’s contact centres and other organisations.43
If you receive a new client inquiry in relation to domestic and family violence and it is clear that the person lacks the financial capability to privately engage a law firm, it is vital for a referral to be made to a community legal centre. Refer to the Community Legal Centres Queensland website for appropriate services.44
If you are dealing with an unrepresented party, whether victim or perpetrator, it is good practice to recommend that the other party seek legal advice including community legal centres.
The Queensland Law Handbook45 provides contact details for a large number of non-government organisations which specialise in domestic and family violence law including social work assistance.
When acting for perpetrators:
The victim’s employer may have policies or procedures to assist the victim in dealing with issues of domestic and family violence.
Familiarise yourself with how to find out about services which address domestic and family violence behaviours for perpetrators.46
Discuss the approach of the court if it can be demonstrated that your client acknowledges their behaviour was wrong and has taken steps to address their behaviour and the risk of it reoccurring.
When preparing a client’s case, ensure there is appropriate liaison with the client’s support networks
If your client is seeing a counsellor or health professional, consider asking for a report from them if your client agrees and if it would help your client’s case and does not breach their privacy.
Make arrangements for a refuge worker or support worker to sit with your client when they are giving instructions or when they are appearing in court, if the client gives permission.
If the client is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander consider what support is required.47
If the client is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, consider what support is required.48
43. An extensive list of support services is maintained on the Queensland Courts website containing links to many government and community support services available throughout Queensland to help clients in a domestic violence relationship. http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/courts/magistrates-court/domestic-and-family-violence/support-services
There is also a list of support services maintained by the Department of Human Services
44. The Community Legal Centres Queensland website provides links to Community Legal Centres at http://www.communitylegalqld.org.au
45. The Queensland Law Handbook is available for purchase at http://esvc000603.wic001ss.server-shop.com/store/viewItem.shop?idProduct=7
46. Refer to http://www.familyrelationships.gov.au/searchpages/GeneralService.aspx?ResourceId=3319 http://www.quac.org.au/sites/default/files/Domestic_Violence_Resource_040612-web.pdf
47. Refer to ATSILS http://www.atsils.org.au/ or ATSICHS http://www.atsichsbrisbane.org.au/
48. Refer to QUAC http://www.quac.org.au/sites/default/files/Domestic_Violence_Resource_040612-web.pdf