Archive for January, 2016

40 per cent of women still unable to access family law legal aid

Today we publish further research which shows that still, nearly 3 years after the introduction of the new rules on legal aid, nearly 40% of women affected by domestic violence are unable to access family law legal aid because they do not have the required evidence to prove it.

On Thursday 28 January 2016 our appeal against the decision in our judicial review will be heard in the Court of Appeal. Our case challenges the legal aid regulations which set out the strict list of evidence criteria which is preventing women from receiving vital legal advice and representation in family law proceedings which can protect themselves and their children from further violence.

Emma Scott, Director of Rights of Women, said ‘The government acknowledges that domestic violence is ‘often hidden away behind closed doors, with the victim suffering in silence.’ More than three years on from the devastating cuts to legal aid and despite amendments to the rules, we know that those victims behind those doors do not have the required pieces of paper to prove they have experienced domestic violence.

Our research has consistently shown that nearly half of women affected by domestic violence do not have the required forms of evidence to apply for family law legal aid and that more than half of those women tell us that they take no legal action as a result. This leaves them at risk of further violence and even death. We continue this legal action on behalf of those women in order to hold the government to account on their promise to make family law legal aid available to victims of domestic violence.’

Read our research report here 

Read our press release about Thursday’s hearing here

Read more about our campaign and how you can get involved here

Welcome our new Patron, Pips Taylor

Pips photo cropped 2We are delighted to announce that television and radio presenter, Pips Taylor, has joined us as our new Patron. We first met Pips in 2012 when she was making the BBCThree documentary, ‘I Never Said Yes’ about rape and the criminal justice system.

Pips says “In that film I spoke to women affected by rape and found out just how frightening and traumatic they found the criminal justice system. I worked with one of Rights of Women’s Legal Officers who was able to explain the court process and help me to understand what this might involve for these women. So I know just how incredibly important the legal advice and support that Rights of Women give is.”

That same year Pips helped us launch our publication in partnership with The Havens Your rights, your body, your life. Sexual violence and the law: a young people’s guide at City Hall and has kept in touch ever since.

We look forward to working closely with Pips on some exciting new projects in 2016. Welcome to the team, Pips!

Find out more about Pips and our other Patrons here.



Contact us at:

Rights of Women,
52-54 Featherstone Street,
London, EC1Y 8RT.
Administration: 020 7251 6575