Domestic Violence link-up helps Joondalup victims

DOMESTIC violence victims are soon to have access to a service in Joondalup connecting health professionals with lawyers.

The importance of doctors in identifying victims is well founded, with GPs often being the injured person’s first point of contact.

But, according to Federal Attorney General George Brandis, lawyers are rarely contacted for advice in the wake of domestic assaults.

Mr Brandis and Federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash announced the free service, to be based at ECU Joondalup, this week.

A spokesman for Senator Cash described the program, which begins later this year.

“Lawyers will collaborate with health professionals to help them identify signs of domestic violence, respond appropriately to disclosures of domestic violence, and help patients to get the assistance they need,” he said.

“The unit will provide on-site legal help at outreach locations, bringing assistance to places where women can feel safe and supported.”

The $1.35 million program is one of just two in Western Australia, with the other based in Kununurra.

The university has welcomed the move, believing it represents a benefit for its legal students to make a significant community contribution, while gaining experience in the law field.