FLOWS wins the NESTA Legal Access Challenge

RCJ Advice and Rights of Women are delighted to be announced today (Thursday 09th April 2020) as a NESTA prize winner for the legal access challenge initiated by the Solicitor Regulation Authority.

The prize recognises the work of our national domestic abuse legal service FLOWS and the digital tools NESTA funding helped move from proof of concept to availability. The prize will enable FLOWS to continue to expand and improve its services.

Alison Lamb, RCJ Advice CEO said “This prize is welcome and timely as we, and domestic abuse services across the country, are concerned that the COVID-19 lockdown has heightened danger: in lockdown or self-isolation, women and children are likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators. Our partners across the country, over 65 domestic abuse accredited legal aid providers, are ready to help.

NESTA funding will support FLOWS to expand access to safe channels of communication and ensure FLOWS tools are available more widely. In particular, RCJ Advice is ensuring CourtNav, their online platform that assists with the completion of a non-molestation order, is more accessible to the courts and to survivors of domestic abuse.

As Alison explains: “We have already provided more access to the FLOWS service by opening up our referral process to women survivors directly. This means they can safely refer themselves to us and let us know when to make contact without needing to go through another organisation or statutory body such as the police or social services. The form can be found at www.self-referral.flows.org.uk."

Further to these changes CourtNav, which is now accessible 24/7, has been opened up to survivors directly, meaning if they feel confident enough to complete the form and then have this checked by a domestic abuse accredited solicitor or the FLOWS team they can do so by visiting www.injunction.courtnav.org.uk/register.

RCJ Advice and the FLOWS team will continue to work with Digital Firefly, who have led the digital and social media marketing for the project, and with Electric Putty who have helped develop the digital tools and website, to reach more survivors and frontline professionals and continue to support them during these challenging times.

Notes to editors:

  • For further information contact Alison Lamb at [email protected]
  • More information about the NESTA prize can be found here: www.legalaccesschallenge.org/winners
  • FLOWS, which stands for Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors, is a legal support service, designed to help protect women against domestic abuse, learn more here: www.flows.org.uk
  • FLOWS is a team of experts from the Family Team of RCJ Advice, a national Citizens Advice service delivering free legal advice in family and civil court cases, working in partnership with Rights of Women.
  • FLOWS’ network of trusted advisers includes experienced solicitors and law clinics, Citizen Advice services, front-line professionals in women’s refuges, women’s aid organisations, and organisations that provide safe environments for domestic abuse survivors.

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