Territory Stories

Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission



Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission

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Tabled Paper 433


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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n o rt h e rn t e rr it o ry l e g a l a id c o m m is si o n a n n u a l re p o rt 2 0 2 0 /2 1 0 2 6 Our Principal Functions (continued) Clients have a safe therapeutic space with the SWC to share their experience of domestic violence, to develop understandings about the nature and impacts of domestic violence, and to receive practical support and assistance in areas including safety planning, home security, child protection, housing, Centrelink, family law, finances and childcare. We are pleased that this funding has been continued. The year in focus During 2020-21, DVLS felt the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing domestic and family violence which resulted in both increased demands and changing demands on the service. DVLS delivery of legal assistance adapted to ensure that all services remained trauma informed but were appropriate and accessible to those experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence. DVLS reviewed its website and, with the assistance of NT Legal Aid, greatly improved the content available online. This process involved the development of accessible and relevant factsheets on domestic and family violence that built on the Blurred Borders resource kits, using visual art and storytelling to explain key legal concepts around domestic and family violence. The service also commenced the development of its Strategic Plan 2021-2025, which when finalised will be available through the website. DVLS participated in a range of networks across the sector. Our collaboration with government and non-government agencies have included the continued partnership with the national charity Share the Dignity. Through this program, our service receives handbags filled with toiletries to distribute to women escaping domestic violence. The Share the Dignity handbags have been much welcomed by clients of DVLS. DVLS provided a number of formal and informal community legal education sessions to community members and services. During the reporting period, DVLS also partnered with the NTLAC and Top End Womens Legal Service to deliver CLE in collaboration. 16/17 17/18 18/19 19/20 20/2120/21 Total services provided Applications for Aid: Received 239 247 219 211 167 Approved: 237 245 219 211 167 Refused: 2 2 0 0 0 Free Legal Advice Sessions 715 641 731 805 588 Duty Lawyer Services 298 367 341 339 406 DVLS Team with share the dignity founder Rochelle