As a Community Legal Centre that offers free legal services to victims of Family and Domestic Violence (FDV), MIDLAS would like to take the opportunity of Law Week 2014 to promote understanding and awareness that FDV is not acceptable. MIDLAS would also like to encourage the importance of a broad understanding throughout the community of the legal justice system and what it can do for you.

MIDLAS understands that FDV is a highly complex and sensitive issue that involves a number of factors that make it very difficult for the victim to leave an abusive relationship. The physical, emotional and financial control the perpetrator tends to exert over the victim can result in the victim feeling they have no other alternative but to continue the relationship. In addition, people often do not realise they are victims of FDV.  Managing a domestically violent relationship involves the victim ensuring the safety of themselves and often their children on a day-to-day basis.  It is understandably hard for the victim to look beyond what is needed to keep themselves and their family safe for that day. For this reason, the victim has difficulty in truly understanding the extent of services that are out there to assist them.

By the time a client seeks MIDLAS Legal services, they have evidently managed the domestically violent relationship up to a point where they feel they have the ability to leave. Leaving a domestically violent relationship is an extremely difficult step to take, as the victim tends to be concerned for the safety of themselves, their children and sometimes even the perpetrator. MIDLAS recognises these complexities and the efforts of the client in handling the situation to this point. MIDLAS understands that victims of FDV respond to abuse in different ways and is committed to offering information, options and advice that suits the wishes of the client.

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