The SAGE program is a unique model for providing legal and family violence support to women with increased vulnerability, experiencing or at risk of family violence.

SAGE is a family violence team that offers:

  • intensive legal, family violence and financial counselling support
  • case management and strong referral pathways
  • ‘wraparound’ support with inclusion of additional services
  • a trauma-informed and strengths-based approach to supporting women to engage with legal processes

SAGE prioritises:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  • women from migrant, refugee or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • women with a disability
  • women experiencing mental health issues
  • women in rural or remote locations without access to local services

Advocacy and Support

SAGE utilises a co-case management model, providing advocacy, family violence support and financial counselling from a family violence lawyer, family violence advocate and financial counsellor.

Family Violence Community Lawyer

Legal advice and casework:

  • family violence and intervention orders
  • family law and parenting arrangements
  • children’s issues
  • related legal matters

Family Violence Advocate

Advocacy and case management:

  • safety planning and risk assessment
  • emotional and practical support
  • referral to specialist services
  • co-case management with referring agencies

Family Violence Financial Counsellor

Financial counselling advice and casework:

  • identifying and assessing financial abuse through financial advocacy with creditors
  • formulating financial action plans and setting goals
  • promoting empowerment in ensuring the financial needs and rights of the individual are upheld

Additional supports such as tenancy advocacy, housing support, children’s counselling, income support, health and employment can be accessed through SAGE’s broad partnership network.


SAGE seeks to overcome barriers that can make accessing services more difficult for some women experiencing family violence.

Through integration with specialist services SAGE seeks to provide a service that is:

  • flexible and responsive to the diverse needs of women
  • culturally safe
  • accessible

SAGE invites engagement with services that wish to work more closely with its team.



SAGE is committed to accessibility for women with increased vulnerability. Appointments can be made at locations throughout Melbourne’s eastern region.


Community Legal Education

SAGE delivers family violence community legal education sessions for community members and service providers that work with its priority groups.



Services are encouraged to contact SAGE to discuss referrals before they complete the SAGE Referral Form.

The SAGE team will:

  • check whether there is a conflict of interest that prevents ECLC from providing a service
  • explore the eligibility requirements for the SAGE program
  • assist to make a referral into the program, or
  • provide alternative referral options.

Secondary Consultation

SAGE offers secondary consultation for service providers working with women dealing with complex legal issues. These consultations may or may not lead to a referral.


For further information about SAGE, please contact your nearest ECLC office or email

Page updated January 23, 2020
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