Based in the central-west town of Forbes, Binaal Billa Family Violence Prevention Legal Service has supported its local community since 2005, after the Aboriginal community recognised the need for a unique, specialist service. Family violence prevention services are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations that provide holistic and culturally safe legal and non-legal services.
Binaal Billa Family Violence Prevention Legal Service supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of domestic violence, family violence and sexual assault, as well as non-Indigenous women with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
“We go into our communities and interact with elders, aunts and uncles to see what may be needed to assist them. We are able to see from the ground up what supports or legal representation our communities need to start to heal and move forward,” says Program Coordinator Debbie Gaudie.
As community-led organisations, family violence prevention legal services are uniquely placed to meet the needs of their communities in a culturally appropriate manner.
“Every community has different dynamics, and we are able to tailor support through our service to help improve peoples’ situations,” Gaudie said.
Along with providing specialist support to people experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence, Binaal Billa Family Violence Prevention Legal Service also assists people with parenting and care arrangements, preparing wills, and victims services applications.
“We work under a holistic case management model of support with wrap around services. This includes legal advice and assistance, advocacy, and case-management support. At a grassroots level, we also work with community leaders, schools and local services to identify and address deeper problems at a community-level,” Gaudie explained.
Binaal Billa Family Violence Prevention Legal Service is auspiced by the Yoorana Gunya Family Healing Centre in Forbes, and runs regular outreach clinics to Parkes, Peak Hill, West Wyalong, Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo and Murrin Bridge.