We are working with our pro bono partners, Baker & McKenzie and Colin Biggers & Paisley, to provide legal assistance to family violence victim survivors seeking to access Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) awards. By running this series of cases, we aim to investigate and document how the VOCAT system responds to family violence related crimes. Where there are barriers to access to justice for family violence survivors, we aim to make recommendations for change.
VOCAT awards are an important aspect of recovery for family violence surivors. Such awards can provide family violence survivors with the ability to pay for counselling, the cost of relocation, security, and personal rehabilitation. In the aftermath of family violence, VOCAT is one way to recognise the harm done, and provide support and closure.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence recommended this issue be considered, and in late 2016 the Victorian Law Reform Commission received a reference to enquire into VOCAT and family violence.