March 25, 2009

Legal Aid Cuts Hurting Abused Women

In January, the Legal Services Society announced cuts to family and criminal legal aid services in British Columbia, due in part to decreased contributions from private sources such as the Notary Foundation. Now the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Centre is worried that cuts to legal aid and family law services in Vancouver pose a risk to women in abusive relationships. Daisy Kler, the spokesperson for Vancouver Rape Relief is worried; "I'm concerned women are getting less and less access to legal services. The people who access services of family law are predominantly women, and this is going to negatively effect their access to justice."

According to Kler, women with little or no money who don't have access to legal aid will often remain in abusive relationships because they have no choice. Kler added a partner or husband will often threaten loss of custody as a way to control a woman attempting to flee an abusive relationship.

The demand for family law advice at pro bono clinics is enormous - far more than the capacity of volunteer lawyers to provide it. Giving women the legal resources to obtain financial and physical security, both for themselves and their children, is a modest short-term investment with a tremendous long-term dividend for our society.

[Source: Vancouver Courier]

1 comment:

  1. It is sad that women can be abused by their husbands and finally get the straighten to leave only to become homeless and on food stamps. But nobody can help them in court to get the child support or spousal support that they need. Child support services do not even help very well with getting the support that is needed for the kids. So the husband father has no worries and all the money. Does that sound fair. That is what he wants so the wife will have no chance and have to go back to the abuse or be left out in the cold. Have to love the system.


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