A new program of Legal Assistance of Windsor will support survivors of gender-based violence and sexual assault.
The program received $1 million from the Victims Fund and Justice Partnership and Innovation Program of the federal Department of Justice. For the next four years, a lawyer and a social worker will provide trauma-informed legal advice, representation, and support in and about the Canadian justice system.
Victims of gender-based violence and sexual assault will have access to ongoing independent legal advice and independent legal representation. In addition, they will receive services from a social worker who will conduct risk assessments, develop safety plans, provide supportive counselling, and assist with system navigation.
Legal Assistance of Windsor executive director Marion Overholt said the clinic, a joint service of the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor and Legal Aid Ontario, is pleased to be able to offer the new program.
“We know there are diverse needs in the community,” she said. “Some survivors need immediate information and advice, others will need ongoing support throughout their engagement with the family and criminal justice systems, and others will want to explore alternative remedies. We are here to support all those individuals.”
The project will be working collaboratively with the criminal justice system and the family bar to ensure that they are addressing the gaps in the systems.