Family Law is the Most Significant Unmet Legal Need in BC
The amount of legal aid available for family law matters in BC has been drastically cut since 2002. Today legal aid representation in family law cases is only available where there is actual or threatened family violence, or to resolve the serious denial of access to children – even for people whose low income would otherwise make them eligible for assistance. Even when women do qualify for legal aid, they may not receive enough time with a lawyer to resolve all of their outstanding legal issues.
The Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, in a recently published report, states that BC’s justice system requires attention now to avert a growing crisis. It calls for adequate funding for family law services which were eliminated in 2002, including issues of divorce, child access and custody, financial support and asset division. They note that 71 per cent of people who would financially qualify for such services are women.
Women are often left to represent themselves when trying to resolve important issues related to their family, home, and financial security.
WHO WE HELP
The crisis in legal services for family law in BC continues to have an especially heavy impact on women. Women are less likely than men to be able to afford a lawyer and more likely to have their safety at risk.
A woman’s capacity to be independent often depends on her ability to resolve disputes over spousal support, child custody and property division. Access to justice is an issue that impacts women’s equality, and women’s safety.
HOW WE HELP
Our service model is intended to complement and work closely with existing community services, while also providing a service unlike any other in BC. We rely on donations to help us to continue to strengthen our services and facilitate access to justice for women.
We help in three ways:
Providing legal information, advice, and representation to women who have no other means of getting legal help.
Creating opportunities for law students to learn how to deliver community based legal services and carry forward a commitment to providing access to justice and family law services in their legal careers.
Identifying cases that have the potential to advance women’s legal rights at a systemic level.
How to Donate
Rise Women’s Legal Centre is a registered charity (#76336 8099 RT0001) and a tax receipt will be issued for every donation in any amount.
You can make a donation through our Canada Helps webpage, or by calling 604-451-7447.
Rise Women’s Legal Centre
516 Richards St
Vancouver, BC V6B 1T5
Credit card donations may be made by telephone at 604-451-7447.