Today the High Court will hear our legal challenge of the lawfulness of Government changes to legal aid for domestic violence victims and we publish the latest in our research on the impact of the legal aid cuts on women.
Our report, published today with Women’s Aid Federation England and Welsh Women’s Aid, shows that despite changes to the list of evidence introduced in April 2014, nearly 40% of women affected by violence do not have the required forms of evidence and are faced with a stark choice: pay a solicitor privately often causing them to get into debt; represent themselves and face their perpetrator in court; or do nothing and continue to be at risk of violence.
Nearly 60% of women responding to the survey said that they took no legal action as a direct result of not being eligible for legal aid. The rules deny access to safety and justice to the very women the Government sought to protect from the removal of family law from the scope of legal aid.
Read our report Evidencing domestic violence: reviewing the amended regulations