More support for women in abusive relationships

Senior legal practitioner Debra Spizzo, left, outlines the legal framework for victims of domestic violence. She is with Port Pirie’s victim support coordinator, Jenny Lewis.
Senior legal practitioner Debra Spizzo, left, outlines the legal framework for victims of domestic violence. She is with Port Pirie’s victim support coordinator, Jenny Lewis.

It will now be easier for women to leave abusive relationships.

This is because a new court assistance service has been introduced to help with this course of action.

The service began last month under the Victim Support Service with $700,000 funding to help provide a team of lawyers to assist.

Local women seeking help can reach out to the organisation’s office in Main Road, Solomontown. It is the base for support for much of the Mid North.

The service is based mostly around intervention orders and is aimed at helping women through the legal process, a task which may have prevented them leaving an unhealthy relationship. 

There is also tenancy assistance to help women remove their name from a lease, or become the sole tenant, without the usual penalties that may apply for breaking a tenancy agreement.

Women going through intervention orders can also seek support through the service’s Court Companion Services.

 “It is new, it is free and it is State-wide,” said the organisation’s chief executive, Julian Roffe.

“There is a team of lawyers sitting there. If women need information or even just support on intervention orders, they can access it easily.” 

The need for the new service was highlighted when Zahra Abrahimzadeh was stabbed to death by her husband at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

It showed there was not enough support for women leaving abusive relationships.