CLC demand has more than doubled, report finds

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Queensland Community Legal Centres are bursting at the seams, with the demand for Community Legal Centre assistance at more than double what it was five years ago.

A Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services report shows that women experiencing domestic violence are among the most vulnerable users of the service.

South West Brisbane Community Legal Centre director Sandra Padgett told AAP that the increased awareness about family violence has prompted more victims to seek help.

“All of the publicity that has surrounded the wonderful Rosie Batty is making them more aware that certain behaviours are domestic violence and that they can get help,” Padgett told AAP.

“There has (also) been a lot of focus on domestic violence in family law matters.”

In 2013-14, community legal centres were forced to turn away over 80,000 people due to a lack of resources. And centres are facing a further 30% funding cut by the government in 2017.

“We know we already can't meet the current needs from our service and any cuts will mean that we are turning away even more women and children experiencing violence,” said Women's Legal Service Queensland co-ordinator Rosslyn Monro.

QAILS is calling on the Federal Government to reinstate funding and work with legal services to develop a sustainable strategy to solving the legal problems of vulnerable members of the community.

“It's horrifying to think that in this environment where domestic violence has come to the fore that they are going to cut the funds we need to help people,” Padgett said.

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