Congratulations, Rights of Women!
Victory For Domestic Violence Survivors As Legal Aid Restrictions Are Overturned By UK Court of Appeal
Thanks to a campaign by group Rights of Women, on Thursday the UK Court of Appeal overturned rules that only grant legal aid in family law cases to claimants that can show they suffered domestic abuse in the previous 24 months.
This overturning is excellent news for domestic violence survivors who would otherwise have not qualified to receive legal aid. In many cases, the abuse has taken place several years prior to the decision to take action, meaning time-based restrictions leave a staggering number of survivors out in the cold with no recourse to justice.
With these barriers to access to legal and financial aid in mind, Chayn created the How To Build Your Own Domestic Violence Case Without A Lawyer guide, a how-to toolkit that teaches survivors how to safely collect, organise, and present evidence of abuse in court. The guide had an official launch in London last year, and is now available completely free under Creative Commons licensing for use by survivors, lawyers, domestic violence NGOs, and legal aid organisations.
We would like to commend the tireless work and excellent campaign by Rights of Women who were the driving force behind the appeal to the High Court to overturn the rules.
We hope this decision by the High Court is followed by more victories for survivors of domestic violence who are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and for whom legal aid cuts and restrictions can mean the difference between life and death.