A life saving service providing women in regional and remote areas of Tasmania with help that might not otherwise reach them could close due to a lack of funding.
The program finds women experiencing domestic violence in less obvious service settings to offer legal, health and housing support to help them escape.
Shocked service providers are desperately appealing to governments to continue to fund the Just Healthy Families program that has helped more than 3000 individuals mostly across North, North-West, West, East and North-East regions.
But the request comes as the state invests $20.1 million into its police portfolio for Arch Centres in Launceston, Hobart and a third in the North-West, which co-locate family violence, sexual assault and child safety support services with criminal investigation resources.
Providers said they have requested meetings with multiple government ministers to discuss.
After their public appeal on Thursday, Justice Minister Guy Barnett said the government values the program and would discuss future funding options.
Regional Tasmania 'crying out' for legal supports in this space
Tasmania Legal Aid Director Kristen Wylie said the program saves lives and its loss would impact the state's most vulnerable women and children.
Over two years it has helped women with more than 5000 legal problems to help keep them safe, dealing in family law, child safety, family violence, property, housing and civil matters.
She said the program did not receive federal funding in 2021-2022, and its Tasmanian Community Fund ends this year, with no funding to continue in 2024 and beyond.
"The idea is to help people identify legal issues, and to help them address those alongside their health and other social issues," Ms Wylie said.
"It puts justice services into health and education settings, and people can get the help they need at the right place and at the right time," she said.
"These are areas that are crying out for legal services. To take away this important service will really impact on the safety of women and children."
Mr Barnett said the program was co-funded between state and federal governments.
He said the state had contributed $500,000 over two years until the end of 2023, and the federal government had funded $500,000 in the national legal assistance partnership up until 2025.
"I have been briefed on the issue and intend to meet with the services in the near future to discuss the matter further," he said.
"I look forward to meeting with Tasmania Legal Aid and Women's Legal Service Tasmania to discuss possible future funding arrangements for this valuable program."