Recently established initiatives in Canterbury and Dover bring together sources of advice from various agencies in one place offering drop-in or by appointment help for women who are experiencing domestic violence or have left a violent relationship.Alongside legal advice, there are representatives of the police, support workers, housing advice, advice on addiction. The “one stop shops” run on a weekly basis. A legal adviser from Fairweathers is part of the legal rota and attends once a month at Canterbury and Dover. Both services run on a weekly basis and legal advisers from other firm’s attend on other weeks.
Gemma Duckworth, Head of the Family Department at Fairweathers, commented
“These are an excellent development bringing together under one roof the various services which women may need ensuring they can benefit from a joined-up service. It may take many years for a woman to report domestic abuse or seek help and where they do anything which can be done to make the first contact as stress free and productive as possible is to be welcome. Problems which arise may require advice or support from a number of sources, for example advice about their housing situation, counselling for the children and legal advice about their remedies in the family courts.
We are proud to work in partnership with others involved in domestic violence to ensure clients receive the best possible service in enabling them to move forward from violent relationships and to resolve the practical difficulties which may arise alongside protecting the safety of their families.
Where a client’s legal issue has other related aspects it is always important to liaise with other agencies and providers of advice in other areas to ensure that the client receives the best possible service and that advice takes into account all aspects of their situation. The one stop shop service takes this further by ensuring that advice is all available under the same roof for the client at their point of initial contact.”
For more information contact Gemma Duckworth, 01227 811014, firstname.lastname@example.org