The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation has teamed up with priority community client, Women's Legal Services NSW, to launch a new pro bono initiative, the Victims of Violence Project.
Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, recently said: "Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia. It is a national disgrace". He added, "Let me say this to you: disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women. But all violence against women begins with disrespecting women."
The Victims of Violence Project will run as a specialised referral scheme to support victims of domestic and sexual violence in New South Wales. The scheme will concentrate solely on exploring and advising victims on possible compensation avenues.
The scheme will operate on the basis that Women's Legal Services NSW will conduct an initial intake with the prospective client which will involve the provision of preliminary advice and an offer of representation in a claim. The client will then be referred to a central point of contact at Colin Biggers & Paisley and the matter will cascade down to a specially selected team of 15 female lawyers.
The project is being spearheaded by some of Colin Biggers & Paisley's most senior female lawyers: Amanda Ryding, partner, Kate Craig, special counsel, Kristen Lopes, partner, Melissa Fenton, partner and Leanne Walker, partner.
"Family violence has wide ranging impacts. These include a woman's financial position, child protection, intervention orders, not to mention a woman's safety and well-being, and her physical and mental health", said Daniel Creasey, Head of Corporate Responsibility. "Our client has identified a clear area of unmet legal need and we believe that we have the expertise, resources and commitment to help tackle this issue, albeit in a small way."
The central objective of the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation is to promote and protect the rights of women and children in Australia and abroad. Consistent with that objective, the legal practice has a number of strategic partnerships in place with a range of not-for-profits, community legal centres, charities and advocacy groups.