Photo of smiling woman with paperwork

Calls for urgent investment into community legal centres

Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV), the only service dedicated to preventing and responding to elder abuse within the state, has joined Community Legal Centres Australia in advocating for immediate investment in the 2024/25 Federal Budget.

Published: 29 March 2024
  • vic
  • 29 March 2024
  • Seniors Rights Victoria

Nationally, community legal services assisted 179,000 people across the country in 2022-23 to manage everyday legal problems with elder abuse, housing, employment, health, finances, personal safety, and to better understand and exercise their legal rights. These services are trauma-informed and integrate a range of diverse professional supports including social work, counselling, and community education.

However, community legal centres are at breaking point. Funding shortages and overwhelming demand are forcing centres to turn away over 200,000 people each year, reduce service offerings, and cancel local outreach services and clinics. Frontline workers are suffering high rates of vicarious trauma and burnout.

"Over the past year, Seniors Rights Victoria has seen a 50% increase in calls to its elder abuse helpline and a 40% rise in advice sessions. We have also seen increasing acuity in the cases that we have been supporting," said CEO Chris Potaris, detailing SRV’s circumstances.

To assist this important cause, SRV asks its supporters to join in on a letter writing campaign raising awareness of the dire situation faced by community legal centres throughout the country.