It was only when I became pregnant that he started hitting me.

This is something we hear far too often at Marrickville Legal Centre: and increasingly, it is from young people.

In this case, the now 20-year-old mother of one managed to escape: despite her former partner eluding police and an AVO for six months.

He would turn up in the middle of the night and say: You have no hope: the police can not even find me to serve the AVO.’”

She eventually found a refuge and then legal and non-legal support through Marrickville Legal Centre.

When young people contact us, 9 times out of 10 it is about family and domestic violence.

In the last year, for the first time, we have employed a youth and family violence solicitor.

They have taken on cases, provided legal education, advice and court support to countless young people, including the young mum we are calling Josie.

That solicitor works alongside our social worker who has expertise in dealing with people experiencing family and domestic violence.

There is no other service for young people like it in NSW.

It was life-changing to have that support: someone to communicate clearly with me about the law and make me aware of the questions I would be asked.

It would be really disheartening if there was no-one to provide that, says Josie.

Marrickville Legal Centre was able to pay for that new, important service through generous donations from our supporter base. But now that funding is coming to an end.

To keep going with this vital work, we urgently need to raise $50,000.

Your generous donation before Christmas will help support this vital position in the local community for the next six months.

Your donation is tax deductible and every cent of it will be spent on outreach to people like Josie – young people leaving family and domestic violence. (That's no spending on administration or fundraising.)

Thanks in advance for your generous donation.

- Annette van Gent, Principal Solicitor and Acting Executive Officer, Marrickville Legal Centre