Chapter 14: Referrals and contacts

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Below are services that may be able to provide additional advice and support to your clients.

Crisis support

NSW Police

  • 000 or 106 (TTY) (For urgent assistance or to report a crime)
  • 131 444 or (02) 9211 3776 (TTY) (General enquiries)
  • 1800 333 000 (Crime Stoppers)
  • 1800 622 571 (Complaints)

Domestic Violence Line

It makes referrals to women’s refuges, family support services, counselling, the police and courts, lawyers and hospitals. It helps with transport, emergency accommodation and other relevant support. Available 24 hours a day.


Provides counselling over the phone and online for sexual assault and domestic violence. Available 24 hours a day.

NSW Rape Crisis Centre

Provides support and counselling for rape victims. Available 24 hours a day.


Provides crisis counselling. Available 24 hours a day.


Provides referrals to accommodation for people in immediate need. Available 24 hours a day.


Your client may be eligible for a Centrelink crisis payment. This is a one-off payment equivalent to one week of the current income support payment they are already receiving. Your client needs to make the application to Centrelink within seven days of the domestic violence incident that led your client to make the application.

Kids Help Line

Provides counselling (by phone, online and by email) for young people aged between five and 25 years. Available 24 hours a day.

Legal advice and information

Women’s Legal Service NSW

The Domestic Violence Legal Advice Line provides free confidential legal information, advice and referrals for women in NSW with a focus on domestic violence and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders.

Available Monday 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, Thursday 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

  • (02) 8745 6999
  • 1800 810 784 (rural freecall)

The Women’s Legal Contact Line provides free confidential legal information, advice and referrals for women in NSW with a focus on family law, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Available Monday Tuesday 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm and Thursday 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

  • (02) 8745 6988 or
  • 1800 801 501 (rural freecall)

The Indigenous Women’s Legal Contact Line provides free confidential legal information, advice and referrals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in NSW with a focus on domestic violence, sexual assault, parenting issues, family law, discrimination and victim’s support. Available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10 am to 12.30 pm.

  • (02) 8745 6977
  • 1800 639 784 (rural freecall)

The Working Women’s Legal Service provide free legal advice for women who have experienced sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination or discrimination because of family responsibilities. Leave a voicemail message and they will call you back.

  • (02) 8745 6954

The Care and Protection Legal Advice Line provides free legal advice for mothers and other female relatives who are dealing with the Family and Community Services (FACS). Leave a voicemail message and they will call you back.

  • (02) 8745 6908

Evening telephone advice service provides free legal advice by telephone about family law and discrimination at work. Telephone appointments are available on Tuesday evenings from 6 pm to 8 pm. You can request an appointment with a lawyer using an online booking form.


Free legal information, advice and referrals. Available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Legal Aid NSW

They provide advice and representation on a range of areas. There are Legal Aid offices throughout NSW; call LawAccess or visit the Legal Aid website to find the nearest one.

Community Legal Centres

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are independent community organisations providing equitable and accessible legal services. There are specialist and generalist CLCs throughout NSW. Call LawAccess or visit the CLCNSW website to find the appropriate one.

Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre

Aboriginal Legal Service

Assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children through representation in court, advice and information, and referral to further support services.

Family Violence Prevention Legal Services

Thiyama-li Family Violence Service (Moree, Bourke, Walgett)

  • 6751 1400

Warra-Warra Family Violence Prevention Legal Service (Broken Hill)

  • 8087 6766

Many Rivers Family Violence Prevention Legal Service (Kempsey)

  • 6562 5856
  • 6562 4856

Binaal Billa Family Violence Prevention Legal Service (Forbes)

  • 1800 700 218

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault

NSW Health Sexual Assault Services

Free services including information, crisis counselling, medical care and forensic examination and ongoing counselling and support groups. For your local service visit the website or the local hospital.

Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Counselling Inc.

Peak body for community based services providing child sexual assault counselling and support services to children, young people and adults, and their non-offending family members.

Adults Surviving Child Abuse

Services for adults who have experienced child abuse and trauma including a support line, information and resources.

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS) provide safe rooms at Local Courts on ADVO list days. They can help victims to obtain legal protection from domestic violence and help with other needs including accessing support services (for example financial assistance and advice, housing, counselling and family law issues). Some WDVCAS have specialist workers to help Aboriginal women, or women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. There are WDVCAS throughout NSW. Contact LawAccess for a referral to your local service.

Domestic Violence Duty Scheme

The Domestic Violence Duty Scheme (DVDS) is a panel of private lawyers who assist women and children experiencing domestic violence in Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) court proceedings. They can give free independent legal advice to clients including police clients on ADVOs, family law, care and protection and Victims Services. They can also advise and represent women who have made a private application for an ADVO in mentions, and hearings through a grant of legal aid.

They can also advise and represent women who are defendants to an AVO or cross application where it can be established that they are actually the victims in the relationship. DVDS solicitors attend court on AVO list days in most metropolitan and many regional local courts.

The best way to find out if the court your client is attending has a DVDS is to contact the local Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service.

Staying Home Leaving Violence

The Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) program is a specialised domestic and family violence program aimed at promoting housing stability and preventing homelessness for women experiencing domestic violence. Assistance ranges from installation of security measures in homes, safety and risk assessment, development of safety plans, advocacy with police, referrals to legal advice and counselling and help with tenancy, financial and other issues.

Your client can self-refer or government or non-government agencies can refer her. At the time of writing, Staying Home Leaving Violence operates from 27 services across NSW; Bega, Blacktown, Broken Hill, Campbelltown, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Eastern Sydney, Fairfield/Liverpool, Inverell, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Maitland/Cessnock, Moree, Newcastle, Nowra, Orange, Parramatta/Holroyd, Penrith, Redfern, Tamworth, Wollongong, and Wyong/Gosford.

The best way to find your local SHLV service is to call LawAccess or visit their website.

Start Safely program

The Start Safely program, funded by Housing NSW, involves the payment of a rental subsidy to provide short- to medium-term financial assistance to victims of domestic violence so they can secure private rental accommodation.

Witness Assistance Services (Director of Public Prosecutions)

Assistance and support for victims of crime and vulnerable prosecution witnesses going to court. Priority is given to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Victims Services NSW

Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and other violent crimes can make claims for financial assistance and get free counselling.

Medicare rebate for counselling

Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by a GP managing the patient under a mental health treatment plan or under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan, or by a psychiatrist or paediatrician.

Financial Rights Legal Centre

A specialist CLC that provides free telephone legal advice and financial counselling to NSW consumers on credit, debt and banking matters. Available Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Welfare Rights Centre

This specialist CLC can advise people about their social security rights, entitlements and obligations and assist people through the social security review and appeals system.

Women’s Health Centres

Women’s Health Centres are non-government, community based, feminist services that provide choices for women to determine their individual health needs. Visit Women’s Heath NSW for information about local Women’s Health Centres.

Family Planning NSW

Family Planning NSW provides reproductive and sexual health services.

Safe Beds for Pets

Offers temporary housing for pets of people who are seeking refuge from domestic violence.

Clients from non-English speaking backgrounds

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)

Interpreting for people whose first language is not English. Phone interpreting service available 24 hours a day.

Immigrant Women’s Speakout

Offers a range of services to women of non-English speaking background including information, advocacy and referral services.

Forced Marriage and Migration

Australian Federal Police

The AFP can help people who are at risk of a forced marriage or who are in a forced marriage, including where a person may be taken overseas to marry.

  • 131 AFP (131 237) or 000 in an emergency

My Blue Sky

Information and advice for people in a forced marriage or who are worried they will be forced to marry.

Immigration Advice & Rights Centre

Specialist CLC that gives legal advice about immigration and refugee law.

  • (02) 8234 0799 (advice) Tuesday and Thursday 2pm to 4pm
  • (02) 8234 0700 (appointments and enquiries)

Clients with disabilities

Intellectual Disability Rights Service

The Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) is a specialist legal advocacy service for people with intellectual disability in NSW.

National Relay Service

Provides an Australia-wide phone service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. Available 24 hours a day.

  • 133 677 or 1800 555 677 to call a 1800 number (TTY users)
  • 1300 555 727 or 1800 555 727 to call a 1800 number (speak and listen)
  • 0423 677 767 or if calling an SMS relay user: 133 677 (SMS relay)
  • (internet relay)


Women’s Legal Service

  • Prisoners can dial 21# on the gaol CADL phone system (free call)

Prisoners Legal Service (PLS)

PLS is a statewide specialist service of Legal Aid NSW. PLS provides advice, minor assistance and representation to prisoners.

  • Prisoners can dial 11# on the gaol CADL phone system and ask for PLS (free call)

LGBTI clients

Inner City Legal Centre

Specialist legal advice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and sex workers.


Provides support for LGBTI people experiencing violence.

  • (02) 9206 2000 (Sydney)
  • (02) 6622 1555 (Northern Rivers)
  • (02) 4962 7700 (Hunter)
  • (02) 6584 0943 (Port Macquarie)
  • (02) 6651 6017 (Coffs Harbour)
  • (02) 9206 2500 (Wollongong)

Children and young people

National Children’s and Youth Law Centre

An independent, non-profit organisation working for and in support of children and young people, their rights and access to justice. Legal advice provided by email.


Legal information on topics relevant to children and young people in an easy to read format.

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