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Qld DV health partnership to be launched

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Ed Jackson

Victims of domestic violence will receive extra support to access health, legal and safety services through a new partnership to be launched at a Queensland hospital on Thursday.

The Women's Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) has joined with Logan Hospital to establish a Health Justice Partnership aimed at improving outcomes for women experiencing domestic violence.

The federally-funded program will enable a WLSQ solicitor to provide free legal advice to hospital patients in relation to family law, domestic violence and child protection matters.

Health Justice Partnership solicitor Gail Shearer says the program connects domestic violence victims with services rather than requiring them to seek out help.

"We know that domestic violence is the leading cause of death, disability and illness for Australian women aged 15-44," Ms Shearer told AAP.

"Patients presenting at a hospital present an entry point for early intervention.

"We also know that women who experience domestic violence and present are more likely to access services that are readily available as opposed to going to a medical facility to get treatment there then having to go somewhere else to get legal advice."

The partnership has funding until 2019 and Ms Shearer said extending the program to other hospitals was a possibility.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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