Nellie's story - giving Nellie access to legal advice which she otherwise would not have sought

Protecting a newborn from family violence

For Nellie, a refugee and a polio survivor with a resulting mobility disability, arriving in Australia did not result in the fresh start she had hoped for. Nellie began a relationship with a man but he quickly became violent. This only escalated after she fell pregnant. Choked, pushed down stairs and abused using her own crutches, Nellie was fearful of what her partner would do after their child was born.

Two weeks after Nellie gave birth to her daughter she followed the advice of her social worker at the Royal Women’s and turned to IMCL for help. English was Nellie’s second language and she knew little about the legal process.

We appeared for Nellie in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and helped her protect herself and her newborn by preventing all contact with her abusive ex-partner. This early intervention helped Nellie to escape further family violence.

We also identified that Nellie may have been entitled to make an application through the victims of crime scheme and provided her further advice in relation to this.

After engaging with IMCL Nellie has been able to focus on raising her young daughter.