New legal advice hotline for men launched in Toowoomba
A NEW hotline offering men in Toowoomba, Ipswich and across southwest Queensland free legal advice regarding domestic violence and family law has been launched.
TASC, Queensland's largest regional community legal service organisation that covers from Ipswich to Charleville, announced the new Reach Out hotline last week.
Running on Tuesdays from 9am until 1pm, men who required more information and advice about domestic violence and family law court and their rights could now ring up and speak to qualified lawyers.
TASC CEO Frances Flaassen said the hotline would help to connect a section of the community that wasn't always reached by normal services.
"Reach Out is all about ensuring that all members of our community have access to free legal advice," she said.
"Our lawyers are also able to refer men to other service providers so that they can access other services such as men's behavior programs and counselling services."
TASC lawyer Louise Secomb said men who accessed the hotline would not only be better prepared for the legal process, but it would to a more efficient system.
"We're seeing a number of men come through our service wanting more information," she said.
"There's been a big emphasis on women having access to legal advice and rightly so, but not men.
"If they have access to that legal advice, it will actually assist that process when they get to court.
"It's more of an informal way to get information on a short amount of time."
Ms Secomb said the service would not just be suited for perpetrators of domestic violence.
"This is also aimed at men who are the victims and we have been seeing an increase of them," she said.
"They don't want to be taunted or teased by going to the police."
To access the hotline, call 1800 948 145 on Tuesday between 9am and 1pm. For regular appointments, call 4616 9700.
If you are anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call 1800 811 811.