• Aboriginal Family Law Services

    Helping prevent family violence for a safer community.

    Learn More

  • Become a Member

    We encourage all Aboriginal people concerned about family violence to join our organisation.

    Sign Up

  • Ochre Ribbon Campaign

    Aboriginal people will not tolerate violence against our men, women and children.

    View the Campaign

National Women’s Summit calls for dedicated National Safety Plan for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been crystal clear at the National Women’s Safety Summit: we need a standalone National action plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children. We call on the state, territory and Commonwealth governments to hand the reigns back to First Nations women and the life-saving services that we deliver  in our communities.

We were excluded from the National Women’s Summit, and only secured a seat at the table after a public campaign to have our voices heard. It is our firm view that any national plan that does not include the voices, experiences and expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is destined to fail.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were absolutely clear at the Women’s Summit: if we are serious about ending violence against First Nations women and children, we need a dedicated National Safety Plan, written for us and by us. The previous national plan has failed our women. Business as usual will not cut it. We urge the government to listen to the calls of frontline service providers, victim-survivors, advocates and academics to give the power back to First Nations women and organisations to make decisions about our own lives and safety.” 
 Wynetta Dewis
Co-Chair of the National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum
We stand with Change the Record in calling on the state, territory and Commonwealth governments to hand the reigns back to First Nations women and the life-saving services that we deliver in our communities, and commit to a National Safety Plan FOR and BY First Nations women. 
Our Key Calls:

  1. Establish a National Plan to eliminate family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children
  2. Increase investment into early intervention and prevention and ensure First Nations women have equal access to support whether they live in the city, towns or bush.
  3. Increase investment into family violence prevention and legal services to match demand and geographical spread, and fund our peak body the National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum
  4. End the threat of child removals and establish a nationally consistent, mandatory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children protection notification and referral system to keep families together
  5. Expand victim-survivor choice and control through expanded pathways for support and accountability beyond police and criminal courts, including referral to FVPLSs.
  6. Increase affordable housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children who are too often unable to leave dangerous situations due to a lack of housing
  7. At all stages in developing policy responses that affect First Nations women and children, prioritise the expertise and solutions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and services.
  8. Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s economic security by abolishing ParentsNext and other punitive programs that drive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially women, deeper into poverty
  9. Stop criminalising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and recognise that Family violence is both a cause and consequence of growing incarceration rates
  10. At all stages in developing policy responses that affect First Nations women and children, prioritise the expertise and solutions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and services.
Your donation can make a big difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children experiencing or at risk of family violence.

To donate, visit the webpages or directly contact via email below:

New South Wales

Binaal Billa Family Violence Prevention Legal Service www.binaalbilla.com.au
Many Rivers Family Violence Prevention Legal Service www.gurehlgam.com.au/mrfvpls/
Thiyama-li Family Violence Service Inc thiyamali.com.au
Warra-Warra Family Violence Prevention Legal Service  www.farwestclc.org.au

Northern Territory

Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit www.caaflu.com.au
North Australian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service www.naafls.com.au
Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council Domestic and Family Violence Service www.npywc.org.au/what-we-do/domestic-and-family-violence/

Queensland

Aboriginal Family Legal Service Southern Queensland tabatha.young@aflssq.org.au
Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service www.qifvls.com.au

South Australia

Family Violence Legal Service Aboriginal Corporation www.fvlsac.org.au

Victoria

Djirra http://givenow.com.au/fvpls

Western Australia

Aboriginal Family Legal Services WA https://www.afls.org.au/
Marninwarnitkura Family Violence Prevention Unit WA mwrc.com.au/pages/legal-services#
Southern Aboriginal Corporation Family Violence Prevention Legal Service www.sacorp.com.au/fvpls

AFLS welcomes the 2021-22 WA State Budget commitment to the legal assistance sector, says more investment in Family Violence Prevention Legal Services is required 

 

Aboriginal Family Legal Services WA (AFLS), a key legal assistance provider in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Mid-West Gascoyne and Goldfields regions, welcomes the State Government’s investment into the legal assistance sector, announced yesterday in the 2021-22 Western Australian State Budget.

AFLS CEO Corina Martin said that the $3.995 million in 2021-22 to respond to the increased demand for legal services due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is a welcome and necessary commitment by the Government to fund Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLSs) and Community Legal Centres (CLCs), which provide critical legal and other supports to some of the state’s most at-risk and vulnerable cohorts.

“If distributed appropriately, this funding will help services like AFLS to grow our service capacity, address unmet need for legal support in responding to family violence across regional Western Australia, and meet the growing cost of service delivery including payment of staff salaries,” she said. The funding commitment will also enable the service to provide a mix of practical, educational and advocacy supports at an intensive level of engagement, to ensure the needs of clients are addressed beyond the demands of their legal case.

However, AFLS expressed concern over the impending allocation of the funding and said that it fell short in providing the kind of assurance needed for the service, and the sector generally, to continue providing support for clients without being impacted by constraints and uncertainty about the future.

“We recognise the demand for funding in the areas of tenancy advice, consumer, employment and mental health, but the evidence shows that FDV has continued to rise ever since COVID-19 started to impact our lives, and the rates don’t look to be decreasing. Aboriginal women continue to experience FDV at increasingly disproportionate rates, and I am concerned that the failure of the funding commitment to require at least a proportion of the funding to be specifically allocated to FDV will negatively impact the availability of services to those experiencing family and domestic violence,” Ms Martin said.

In particular, funding for FVPLS services in WA has historically fallen short, with limited consideration of the demand for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations such as FVPLSs to provide services to Aboriginal people experiencing family and domestic violence. Ms Martin said that the State Government must adequately fund Aboriginal organisations to deliver culturally appropriate services that understand the particular history and culture of their service users.

AFLS commended the State Government for recognising the demands of the legal assistance sector and encouraged the Government to work closely and genuinely with service providers to provide culturally appropriate service responses in the sector that will effectively improve outcomes for service users.

AFLS welcomes announcement of standalone plan to address violence in Aboriginal communities, urges Federal Government to properly consider culture and history across different Aboriginal groups and adequately resource Aboriginal Controlled Organisations

 

Aboriginal Family Legal Services WA (AFLS), a key family violence service provider in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Mid-West Gascoyne and Goldfields regions, welcomes the announcement that Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston will work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to develop a targeted plan to address violence against women in Aboriginal communities.

AFLS has been a long-time advocate for genuine commitment from the State and Federal Governments to partner with Aboriginal communities to address violence against women and children, and recommended the establishment of a separate, dedicated National Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in its submission to the Department of Social Services on developing the next National Plan.

AFLS CEO Corina Martin said that family and domestic violence is experienced in a different context in Aboriginal communities and that Aboriginal people are the authorities on what service responses will work for them. “The social, cultural and political context in which violence occurs in Aboriginal communities is unique to Aboriginal people, as are the deep-rooted drivers and underlying factors that contribute to violence against Aboriginal women. This includes the ongoing impacts of colonisation, intergenerational trauma, socio-economic disadvantage, systemic racism, and discrimination.”

“Addressing violence in Aboriginal communities requires a proper commitment to paying attention to the unique experiences of Aboriginal women as victims of violence and to working with Aboriginal communities to respond to violence in a way that is appropriate for them.”

Ms. Martin also emphasised the importance of recognising differences between Aboriginal culture across regional areas and remote community groups. “The Federal Government must understand that Aboriginal culture varies from community to community, and that dealing with violence in one community may be an entirely different experience to dealing with violence in another. The standalone plan to end violence against Aboriginal women must respond to this reality and be built on an understanding of history and culture as being experienced differently for Aboriginal people generally, and across regional boundaries and Aboriginal communities.”

Trusting Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver services for Aboriginal people was also raised by Ms. Martin as a critical issue for the standalone plan. “I am concerned that there has been a tendency across Australia, and in Western Australia in particular, for non-Aboriginal Controlled Organisations to receive funding to deliver services to Aboriginal people. The standalone plan must adequately resource Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations like AFLS to support Aboriginal communities to address violence against women and children.”

Ms. Martin commended Minister Ruston for listening to the voices of Indigenous leaders at the National Women’s Safety Summit and said that AFLS looks forward to seeing how the Federal Government listens to Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal organisations in the future, to achieve their shared goal of addressing violence against women and children.

Help stop the spread of COVID-19

We can’t see COVID-19 but it effects everybody.

We are still providing legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence in regional Western Australia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But our procedures have changed to keep everyone healthy and safe.
From Monday 18 May our Doors will be open for face to face appointments.

Welcome

We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of family and sexual violence through community education, early intervention and legal advocacy.

Services

We provide legal and support services for all Aboriginal people who have experienced family violence or sexual assault.

Family Law

We can assist people with their family law matters when there are children involved. We represent clients in the Family Court WA, and help clients work out parenting agreements. We focus on what is best for the children.

Read More

Child Protection

We assist people dealing with the Department of Child Protection and Family Support in childcare and protection matters. We can help you to talk to the Department about children remaining safely in your care.

Read More

Criminal Injury Compensation

Eligibility advice for criminal injuries compensation, including for injuries, medical expenses and lost income. We assist with applications, and helping to obtain documents such as medical reports.

Read More

Family Violence Restraining Orders

We help people who have been hurt by partners or family members. We can assist in applications for Family Violence Restraining Orders (FVROs) and will apply to the Court for an interim restraining order.

Read More

Non-Legal Support

We provide non-legal support and case management in the form of community education and engagement, crisis intervention and client referrals. We can advocate for clients, and help in safety planning for families.

Read More

Social Support

Our social workers provide culturally-safe and trauma-informed approaches. They help clients through the demands of their legal process, develop safety strategies, and build social and emotional wellbeing.

Read More

“Thank you AFLS for your presentation to our nursing team. We continue to use your valuable resources and look forward to working with you again.”

ROBYN MACGREGORGOLDFIELDS MENTAL HEALTH INPATIENT SERVICE
Membership

Stronger Together

We encourage all Aboriginal people concerned about Family Violence to join our organisation. Our members are drawn from the six regions in which we operate, and also include Perth. You need to be at least 18 years of age to become a member.

Join Us

Campaign

Ochre Ribbon

Violence within Aboriginal communities against women, children and men has increased to alarming levels. The Ochre Ribbon Campaign highlights the need to stop this violence, and works to strengthen advances in prevention initiatives from other agencies and campaigns.

Read More

Stay up to date

Join our mailing list