In 2017 Victoria Law Foundation provided funding to St Kilda Legal Service to establish the LGBTIQ Legal Service, in our largest grant ever awarded. In this time, the service has supported many areas of legal need in the community and identified common issues, consolidated in their new legal needs analysis report.
The LGBTIQ Legal Service is Victoria’s first and only specialist community legal service for LGBTIQ communities. This report, funded by Victoria Law Foundation, highlights the particular legal needs experienced by the Victorian LGBTIQ population to support policy makers better understand and meet these specific and varied needs.
The report delves into the complex ways LGBTIQ communities disproportionately experience discrimination, harassment, violence and social exclusion, which contribute to risk factors that increase disadvantage, such as poorer mental health and homelessness. The report also addresses the compounded barriers LGBTIQ communities face in accessing adequate legal support, including a deep mistrust of the justice system, lack of community-specific services and lack of information about available services.
Along with announcing the launch of this report on 17 July 2020, the LGBTIQ Legal Service also announced that it will continue to provide vital legal services established under the two-year pilot, thanks to additional funding provided by the Victorian state government.
Minister for Equality, the Hon. Martin Foley commented, “the important work of the LGBTIQ Legal Service over the past two years has provided valuable insights into the legal needs of Victoria’s LGBTIQ communities. This report is another reminder that too many LGBTIQ Victorians still face discrimination just for being who they are.”