Cuts have been implemented to legal aid since the early 1990’s. In 2002, the province slashed 40% from the funding for the Legal Services Society (LSS) the agency that provides legal aid in BC which as a result impacted policies in Family Law matters. This directly impacted survivors of violence accessing BWSS navigating the Family Law system, often pushed to do mediation, even though gender-based violence was present in the relationship.
Changes are coming. The province of BC is currently working on major changes to the delivery of Family Law services.
The Law Society of British Columbia is now consulting with BWSS and other organizations in their work looking at alternatives for Family Law representation. BWSS will continue to consult on the project and plans to hold focus groups with women and other service providers in the fall.
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