When you visit the Women’s Legal Service QLD, the first thing you notice is that it’s a bright, homely, welcoming space that’s full of light and beautiful things. And the second is that when you close the door behind you, it locks very securely.
This is a place that’s designed to provide safety, sanctuary and hope for women and children that are experiencing domestic, sexual and family violence. Not only does this include, as its name suggests, legal advice, but also counselling and access to various specialist domestic and family violence support services.
When we meet Nat, who has been working at the centre for over 11 years, she is full of enthusiasm for the recent renovations to the premises, and what they’ve been able to achieve in recent years because of increased corporate sponsorship and fundraising activities.
“With only government funding, we were able to help 3,000 women a year. Now, through a wider range of fundraising events, we’re able to provide over 30,000 services each year and answer 9,000 calls. But, we’re still only able to answer 40% of the calls for help that are coming through”.
The issues women and children face when in abusive or threatening environments are complex and ongoing, and the team of staff and volunteers at Woman’s Legal QLD aim to provide a wide range of services that are going to help – whether it’s practical, emotional or access to information and other support agencies.
The most dangerous time for women is when they decide to leave an abusive relationship. Often with no access to money and being closely monitored by their partners, they are vulnerable as they try to access the help and services they need. The assistance Women’s Legal Service QLD are able to provide, is critical and life changing.
‘Seeing the positive impact our work has been able to make, is what keeps me here. But, of course it’s hard sometimes, especially when you see how much need there is out there, all the time” says Nat
Since 2016 Konica Minolta QLD Branch have provided the practical support of MFDs and consumables, enabling the vast amount of printing and documentation required for court cases, proceedings and general administration to be carried out free of charge.
“We’re so grateful for this support. It’s such a huge help in reducing our running costs, and the people at Konica Minolta are just incredible. When we needed things changed around because of the renovations, nothing was too much trouble. And our wonderful service techs Warren and Steve are so considerate and kind. They really care about us, and they take a lot of pride in representing Konica Minolta”.
Konica Minolta also sponsors various events during the year, including a table at the Queensland Legal Profession breakfast, which is one of the Centre’s major annual fundraisers. Providing financial and in-kind support is helping Women’s Legal Services QLD make a difference.
"Knowing how Women’s Legal Service QLD are they’re helping women and children that are in such desperate need makes us want to do what we can to help. It’s such a huge and devastating problem and one that touches so many lives". Scott Jackson, Regional General Manager
Nat summed up the purpose of Women’s Legal Service QLD with a simple story that happened recently during one of their drop-in evenings, when women can turn up without an appointment and talk to legal advisers. One of the women had brought her young child along, who explained to Nat ‘We’re here because mummy got hit, and we want to fix things’
If you or someone you know needs support, please call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.