Divorce clinic for foreign women opened in Australian capital

Divorce|March 15th 2015

A divorce clinic aimed at women from foreign cultures has been opened in Australian capital Canberra.

The clinic will provide free legal advice and representation to vulnerable women caught up in troubled marriages who might otherwise struggle to navigate the Australian legal system due to cultural, linguistic or financial barriers.

The clinic will be run by the Women’s Legal Centre ACT (Australian Capital Territory), which supplies a range of advice on family and other issues. Executive Director Heidi Yates said the new clinic would provide a useful service to foreign-born women living across the Canberra region in the south-east Australia.

She told the Canberra Times:

“We know that women from [culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds] across Australia experience high levels of domestic violence and it’s important for them to have access to expert legal advice and representation.”

Such woman sometimes did not even have a certificate to prove they were married, she added, because they had lost it when leaving their home countries, or because they had never received one in the first place. Others had a poor command of English and required the help of interpreters, she added.

Others may be uncomfortable with the entire concept of divorce, Yates continued, due to their cultural background.

“It is a significant issue for women from some religious and cultural backgrounds and one that can have safety implications for the woman seeking a divorce.”

Read more about the Women’s Legal Centre ACT here.

Photo of Canberra by Bidgee via Wikipedia

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