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Free legal help for women in need

As people around the world join together to celebrate International Women's Day, Legal Aid Queensland has reminded Queensland women of the range of specialist services it offers to give them a voice in the justice system.

Legal Aid Queensland acting chief executive officer Paul Davey said the organisation provided a range of services for women including legal help and support for domestic and family violence problems, assistance with family law and child support issues or help with civil law matters like discrimination, consumer rip-offs and debt problems.

"Sadly the vast majority of people experiencing domestic violence are women and many are vulnerable and living in fear for their safety and the safety of their children,"

Mr Davey said.

"Women experiencing domestic violence can call us on 1300 65 11 88, visit one of our 14 offices across Queensland, or visit our website www.legalaid.qld.gov.au to get free information and publications about their legal rights and how to get legal help."

Mr Davey said if women were appearing in court to protect themselves or their children from domestic violence, they don't have to do it alone.

"Legal Aid Queensland provides a domestic violence duty lawyer service at 15 Queensland courts, giving people access to legal information and advice, help to fill out forms and documents needed for that day in court, advice about eligibility for ongoing legal representation, and in some cases, representation in court that day,"

he said.

The organisation also provides a Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service, offering free and confidential assistance to all women who attend the Brisbane Magistrates Court for domestic and family violence matters.

The service helps women with safety planning, understanding the court process, completing domestic violence protection order applications, crisis counselling, emotional support in court and a range of other services.

Legal Aid Queensland can also help with other legal problems, including relationship separation, care arrangements for children, criminal charges, money and debt, employment and discrimination.

"If you have a legal problem we would encourage you to check out the extensive range of information on our website or give us a call to see how we can help you,"

he said.

Media contact: Katherine Gorter on 3917 0411 or Amanda Catania on 3917 0407

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