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published: 11 August 2020
Lucinda Holliday, partner and head of family & divorce at Blaser Mills Law, highlights the need to end legal aid barriers for domestic violence victims and what you should do if you cannot access support.
Domestic abuse or violence in a relationship can be harrowing, confidence-destroying, and life-altering, but it is frighteningly common. As many as one in four women and one in six men will suffer from domestic violence at some time in their lives, and the latest ONS figures show that, in the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6million women and 786,000 men).
The issue has become only more prevalent during the coronavirus pandemic, with the reported incidence of domestic violence and deaths resulting from it rising during lockdown. As such, the need to end legal aid barriers for domestic violence victims has never been greater.
What is legal aid?
Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal. It sees the government provide money to help pay for your case, which comes from the Community Legal Services Fund [CLS] and is administered by the Legal Aid Agency [LAA].