Legal help boost for domestic violence victims

MORE regional women should have access to free legal help for domestic violence issues through a $100,000 funding boost.

The Women's Legal Service provides advice, representation and social work support to more than 3700 Queensland women each year.

About 40% of those who access services via telephone are from rural, regional and remote Queensland.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the extra money would expand the helpline services for Queenslanders dealing with domestic and family violence.

She said demand for these services had increased since Quentin Bryce and her taskforce released the Not Now, Not Ever report with 140 recommendations on how to tackle the problem.

The report included recommendations to increase penalties for domestic violence, add strangulation as a criminal offence, teach schoolchildren about respectful relationships and create specialist domestic violence courts.

"While many people are being helped, there is always a need to do more," Ms D'Ath said of the legal service.

"We must ensure that victims have a voice, and when they have the courage to ask for help, there are services ready to answer that call.

"This additional funding highlights the government's determination to reduce this insidious problem.

"This is just another way the government is tackling this issue, but it takes a community effort to stand against domestic and family violence."

The State Government had already committed $1.2 million of State and Commonwealth funding to the Women's Legal Service each year in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The extra $100,000 will be provided this financial year - 2015-16.

- APN NEWSDESK



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