About Safe from Harm
The Safe from Harm program is run as a partnership through two not for profit community legal service providers; the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre and the Moonee Valley Legal Service.
The program provides free legal advice and casework assistance to people experiencing relationship breakdown or family violence through two specialist lawyers, one based at each service.
These lawyers are also responsible for engaging with local communities and services to raise awareness of family violence. They provide free community legal education and outreach services to a range of groups and locations. The program has a particular, but not exclusive focus upon assisting those from amongst culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
The program has been a finalist in the annual Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations (SWECO) award administered by the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women. It was recognised for raising awareness about family violence amongst CALD communities in public housing estates and building trust between cultural groups and legal services.
The Steering Committee responsible for administering the Safe from Harm program evolved over time to form the Moonee Valley Family Violence Network. The Network consists of a group of family violence service providers, council staff and Victoria Police representatives who meet regularly to co-ordinate local responses to family violence. The newly formed network is co-convened by Safe from Harm lawyers and the Moonee Valley City Council.
The Safe from Harm program currently receives funding from the Victorian State Government Department of Justice and Regulation. Pilot funding for the program was provided in 2014 by the Victorian Legal Services Board.