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Quantitative legal needs survey: Bega Valley (pilot)  

, 2003 This survey examined the findings of a survey of legal needs in the Bega Valley local government area. It also forms the basis for a survey of six local government area in NSW currently being conducted by the Foundation.


Ch 1. Introduction


This report details the results of a pilot survey of legal needs undertaken in Bega Valley in October 2002. The development and piloting of the legal needs survey was a necessary element of a broader initiative to implement a major legal needs survey in six local government areas across New South Wales in 2003, as part of the second stage of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program.

The legal needs survey will seek to address issues arising under the following program objectives:


In particular, the legal needs survey will concentrate on quantitative analysis, and will seek to provide information in relation to:


The pilot survey


The Foundation decided to pilot the survey methodology in one region to test its effectiveness before embarking on broader research across a number of regions. The Bega Valley local government area (LGA) in South East New South Wales was selected as the pilot region after a community group approached the Foundation for assistance to undertake a legal needs study in the region. Analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed that the socioeconomic profile of the Bega Valley region exhibited disadvantage. Moreover, there was limited access to a range of legal services.

Following the conduct of the pilot survey, the Foundation has further refined the survey instrument in preparation for the conduct of the major legal needs survey in September 2003. The survey will be undertaken in a sample of six local government areas that exhibit disadvantage, and which adequately reflect disadvantaged communities in the state. The Local Government Areas (LGAs) areas selected are:



Structure of this report


Chapter 2 describes the design and conduct of the pilot survey and the characteristics of the survey participants.

Chapter 3 provides a broad overview of the legal events identified by the pilot survey, including how many and what type of events were experienced by survey participants. It also discusses whether demographic factors affected the number or type of legal events experienced by participants.

Chapter 4 examines whether survey participants sought outside assistance with their legal events, the reasons for not seeking help and discusses whether the type of event or individual characteristics of participants affected their decision as to whether to seek assistance.

Chapter 5 discusses what happened to the participants who sought assistance, including such issues as where they went, what sort of assistance they wanted, the assistance they received and any problems they experienced in accessing assistance.

Chapter 6 examines whether legal events had been resolved and whether participants were satisfied with the outcomes.

Chapter 7 summarises results by legal event type.

Chapter 8 draws together the major findings of the pilot survey.

The Appendices contain technical specifications and statistical tables.



Preface


The objects of the Law and Justice Foundation are to contribute to the development of a fair and equitable justice system which addresses the legal needs of the community, and to improve access to justice by the community (in particular, by economically and socially disadvantaged people).1

The Foundation’s priority during 2002–2004 is the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program, which will investigate the access to justice and legal needs of economically and socially disadvantaged people in New South Wales.

The principal purpose is, via a thorough and credible process, to develop a statement of these needs, which we hope will inform government, non-government and community agencies helping to improve access to justice for disadvantaged people in New South Wales.

The program comprises two stages, as outlined in the Terms of Reference. A key feature of the second stage is the assessment of the access to justice and legal needs of a sample of local government areas (LGAs) in New South Wales which exhibit disadvantage. This assessment is to be undertaken by way of a survey of a sample of residents in each of six LGAs, including three urban communities, two rural or remote communities, and one regional centre. A comprehensive legal needs survey instrument has been developed as part of this initiative, and was piloted in the Bega Valley LGA in SE NSW in October 2002. This report details the results of the pilot legal needs survey undertaken in Bega Valley.

Louis Schetzer
Senior Project Manager
Access to Justice and Legal Needs Project
Law and Justice Foundation of NSW
September 2003



Ch 2. The pilot survey


This chapter describes the methodology of the survey, including questionnaire design, sampling, implementation and analysis.


Methodology


In designing the survey, the Foundation was strongly influenced by the ‘Paths to Justice’, studies conducted by Professor Hazel Genn in the United Kingdom.2 Due to issues of cost and efficiency, it was decided to conduct a telephone survey, supplemented by a small number of face-to-face interviews using the same survey instrument and conducted concurrently with the telephone survey.


Questionnaire Design


Foundation staff developed the survey instrument, drawing on a diverse range of skills and disciplines, including social policy research, psychology, law and statistical research and analysis. The Foundation drew on both the Paths to Justice studies and on recent legal needs surveys conducted across the United States in developing the survey instrument.3 The instrument covered the following issues:
Development and pre-testing

The draft questionnaire was distributed to a limited number of academics and researchers with a background in legal needs research for further refinement.

The instrument was then pre-tested on 20 individuals from various age groups (including some whose first language was not English) to test the participants understanding of the questions and whether the survey flowed logically. Pre-test procedures involved both face-to-face and telephone interviews. Following completion of the survey interview, pre-test participants were debriefed through a series of questions designed to elicit their understanding of particular survey questions. This procedure was used on questions that were considered potentially ambiguous, or where it was difficult to determine whether the questions had been properly understood.

The results of these interviews were used to improve the survey design before moving on to a more comprehensive pilot study.

‘Legal events’

An important principle adopted in designing the survey was that respondents were asked about legal need in context. Instead of providing a list of legal issues, the questionnaire asked respondents if they had experienced a problem or event of a particular kind. For example, survey participants were asked:


This approach recognises that individuals may not always realise that an event that they experience has legal consequences, and therefore assists to minimise the under-reporting of events.

The terminology ‘legal events’ has been adopted because the survey included some scenarios that were not problems (such as buying or selling a house or making a will) but did involve clear legal consequences. The survey also included a number of events that potentially have legal implications or remedies, but may not normally be recognised as such.

Survey structure

The survey asked participants whether they had experienced any of 84 separate events in the last twelve months.4 Each participant was then asked to identify their most important legal event and, where they had experienced more than three events, the two most recent events. For these three events, participants were asked whether they sought any assistance with this event and if not, why not.5

Participants who sought assistance were asked about who they approached for help, what advice or assistance they sought and received and about any problems they experienced in getting assistance.6

Finally, all participants were asked whether each event was resolved, and their satisfaction with the situation.7

Some participants were ‘filtered out’ from certain questions, as these questions were not relevant to them. For example, only participants who indicated that they had owned a small business in the last twelve months were asked whether they experienced any problems related to running a small business, and only participants who had been employed at some time in the last twelve months were asked whether they had experienced employment related legal events. This filtering enabled the length of the survey to be shortened and avoided asking participants irrelevant questions.



Conduct


Prior to commencement of the survey interviews, the Foundation initiated a limited public awareness campaign in the Bega Valley LGA with the aim of encouraging maximum community participation. Community workers were contacted to disseminate information and publicity about the survey. In addition, publicity interviews were conducted with local radio and media outlets, with significant coverage obtained.

Social research firm NCS Pearson was engaged to undertake the telephone survey and conducted a total of 282 telephone interviews over 4 weeks in October and November 2002. Telephone surveys were conducted using CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) system software.

Telephone interviews were supplemented by 24 face-to-face interviews from the following groups: caravan park residents, Indigenous Australians, 15 to 17-year-olds,8 and people of non-English speaking backgrounds. The face-to-face interviews were conducted during the same time period as the telephone survey and using the same survey instrument. These groups were selected for supplementary interviews because it was thought that they might be missed by a telephone survey. The face-to-face interviews also gave the Foundation’s research team the opportunity to observe how the questionnaire worked in practice.



Sampling


Telephone survey

The target population was people aged 15 years or over living in the Bega Valley LGA in South East New South Wales. The sample size was 1.5 per cent of population. A 1.5 per cent sample was considered to be the minimum sample size to allow for a workable dataset.

Details of the geographic spread of telephone participants are given in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1: Location of survey participants: telephone survey, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Township
Population
Sample (1.5%)
Bega
4463
66
Bermagui
1289
19
Eden
3299
49
Merimbula
4481
66
Pambula
1568
23
Tathra
2022
30
Tura Beach
1930
29
TOTAL
19 052
282

Participants for the telephone survey were selected randomly using the Electronic White Pages. Postcodes falling within the Bega Valley LGA were first identified. Software was then used to draw a random sample of telephone numbers from within these postcodes.

Calls to potential participants were made between 5pm and 9pm on weekdays and between 10am and 6pm on weekends. To maintain the randomness of the sample, NCS Pearson adopt a call back policy of 3 attempts to get through to an individual number, followed by 5 further calls to speak to the right person in the household.9

Because this was a pilot survey, it was important to test the survey methodology in the field and to ensure that the questionnaire was adequately exposed to participants from a range of ages. The sample was therefore stratified by age, gender and location within the Bega Valley LGA. All relevant sample quotas for age, gender and township were filled.10

The average length of each interview was 23 minutes. The survey refusal rate11 was thirty-seven per cent.

Face-to-face interviews

The Foundation was able to identify participants for face-to-face interviews through the assistance of the community organisations acknowledged at the beginning of this report. The Foundation’s researcher attended the premises of a variety of organisations to gain access to participants.12 Individual participants were randomly selected from amongst attendees at these functions/premises who were willing to participate.



Analysis


The survey data was provided to the Foundation as an SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) data file. Verbatim responses to questions where responses were longer than 198 characters were also provided in an Excel spreadsheet. No information that allowed identification of individual survey participants was provided to the Foundation.

Responses from the face-to-face surveys were recorded on a hardcopy version of the questionnaire. A member of the Foundation’s staff entered the coded responses from these interviews into the SPSS data file.

Analysis of the survey data was conducted using SPSS and Excel. Key survey responses were cross-tabulated against the following demographic characteristics:


These characteristics have previously been identified by the Foundation as being related to social and or economic disadvantage.13 In particular, the initial literature review conducted by the Foundation as part of the first stage of the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program, as well as the consultation and submission process undertaken in late 2002, identified these characteristics as being relevant factors associated with disadvantage in terms of access to both legal and non-legal assistance, and effective participation in the legal system.14

The data provided from the survey can be described and analysed in two discrete ways:



Issues associated with the pilot survey


Under-reporting of events

The survey required participants to identify that they had experienced a particular legal event when prompted by a description. We were reliant on both the participants’ memories, and on their willingness to reveal personal information during a telephone survey. It has been observed that legal events of a highly personal nature, such as domestic violence, are either not reported or under-reported at best.16

We attempted to minimise under-reporting caused by poor recall by contextualising legal events and providing practical examples to survey participants to assist them in recalling events. We also reassured participants of the confidentiality and anonymity of information collected before asking certain sensitive questions.

Financial constraints also meant that the survey did not identify whether participants had experienced more than one of a particular type of legal event. This may result in a degree of under-reporting for those types of legal events that may recur (such as credit problems). We accept this limitation because the primary purpose of the study was to identify the types of legal events experienced and participants’ behaviour in relation to those events rather than to precisely quantify the number of legal events experienced in a particular region.

Sample size

As already noted, this survey was conducted as a pilot for a larger survey. We were unable to conduct detailed analyses in several areas due to the relatively small size of the sample (306 participants) and resulting cell sizes. We anticipate that we will be able to explore a wider range of relationships when we conduct the main survey (2400 participants).

Financial and time constraints meant that we were unable to explore fully all events experienced. Detailed information was sought on only 398 of the 572 legal events experienced by survey participants (a maximum of three events per participant). This limited the level of analysis that could be conducted on the pilot data, particularly in relation to how participants handled events. Although we intend to adopt the same approach in the main survey, the larger sample size will allow for more detailed analysis.

Selection of events

The selection of the three events for additional analysis was based on a mixed selection process—participants were first asked to identify their most important event, and then their two most recent. This decision imposed an extra level of analysis (looking separately at the behaviour of participants in relation to their most important event compared to their behaviour generally). However, this analysis did not provide significantly different additional results in most areas. We have therefore decided to select the three most recent events for further analysis for the main survey.

Survey instrument

As this was a pilot study we expected (and encountered) a number of teething problems with the survey instrument. Difficulties with the questionnaire and decisions about changes to it for the main survey are discussed throughout this report. These include:


The inclusion of three additional legal event types.17


Conclusion


Despite the limitations described above, the Pilot Survey has provided valuable information about the legal needs of Bega Valley residents for both local service providers and organisations that provide outreach services in the region. It can also provide government and policy makers with additional information for assessing the need for further services in the region. It has also provided the Foundation with important information for the development and implementation of the larger scale legal needs survey.


Ch 3. The incidence of legal events


This chapter discusses the number and type of legal events experienced by survey participants. It adopts a person-based approach and examines whether there is any relationship between the demographic characteristics of individual participants and either:


Number of legal events


The 306 survey participants experienced a total of 572 legal events in the twelve months prior to the survey, an average of 1.8 legal events for each participant.

Table 3.1: Total number of legal events per participant, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October– November 2002

Events No.
Participants No.
Participants %
Cumulative %
0 Events
103
33.7
33.7
1 Event
72
23.5
57.2
2 Events
47
15.4
72.5
3 or more Events
84
27.5
100
Total
306
100
Notes: See Appendix B, Table B1 for all responses

One third of all participants experienced no relevant legal events during this period. The median number of legal events was one and the largest number of legal events experienced by any individual participant was 13.

Figure 3.1: Total number of legal events per participant, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B1.


What factors affect whether participants experience any legal events at all?


Demographic factors

Table 3.2 provides a summary of the percentage of survey participants who experienced one or more legal events in the 12 months prior to the survey according to a range of demographic characteristics.

When each characteristic was examined separately, the age and income of participants were both related to whether they experienced one or more legal events as described below.

Age

Whether participants experienced any legal events was statistically related to their age:18


It is not surprising that participants in mid life experienced relatively more legal events than other age groups, as the life cycle factors of this age group contribute to an increased likelihood of experiencing legal events. This is the age group that is predominantly employed, has school age children, is most likely to have a mortgage, and is likely to be purchasing a broad range of consumer goods and services. Conversely, participants who were over 65 were less likely to be engaged in many of the activities that may have legal consequences.

Income

The percentage of participants experiencing legal events tended to rise with income.19


Participants on higher incomes were more likely to be involved in a range of transactions that involve legal issues, and thus have more opportunity to experience legal events.

Table 3.2: Selected characteristics and whether any legal events experienced, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Participants experiencing one or more legal events

Demographic Characteristic
No. Participants
No.
%
GenderFemale
158
105
66.5
Male
148
98
66.2
Indigenous Indigenous Australian
8
6
75
statusNon Indigenous
298
197
66.1
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
290
194
66.9
Born in non English speaking country
16
9
56.3
DisabilityPerson with a disability
95
67
70.5
statusPerson without a disability
211
136
64.5
IncomeIncome under $200/week
58
32
55.2
Income $200 to $499/week
115
80
69.6
Income $500 or over/week
100
74
74
AgeAged 15 to 24 years
30
21
70
Aged 25 to 34 years
31
20
64.5
Aged 35 to 44 years
67
56
83.6
Aged 45 to 54 years
59
48
81.4
Aged 55 to 64 years
52
32
61.5
Aged 65 years or over
57
20
35.1
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
41
25
61
Year 10 or equivalent
98
62
63.3
Year 12 or equivalent
58
39
67.2
Certificate/Diploma
53
35
66
University degree or higher
54
41
75.9
ALL PARTICIPANTS
306
203
66.3

Notes: Income No. missing = 33; Age No. missing = 10; Education No. missing = 2.


Factors most likely to affect whether any legal events are experienced20


Factors most likely to affect whether any legal events are experienced20

The above discussion examines the effects of each demographic factor in isolation. However, there are also interrelationships between demographic factors that need to be taken into account (or ‘controlled for’). Sometimes the effect of one factor may only become clear when a second factor is included in the analysis. Alternatively, the effect of one factor may be absorbed in another factor.

Regression analysis allows us to examine the effect of a number of different factors simultaneously. The general purpose of regression is to learn more about the relationship between several independent factors and another variable. In general, regression allows the researcher to ask (and hopefully answer) the general question ‘what is the best set of predictors of ...’.

In the present case, we used logistic regression analysis to answer the general question ‘what is the best set of predictors of whether or not a participant experienced one or more legal events in the last twelve months?’. The regression model demonstrates that the following demographic factors all have an effect on whether a participant experienced at least one legal event in the 12 months prior to the survey:


Income

Participants earning under $200 per week were less likely to experience any legal events than participants in other income groups. As noted in chapter 2, young participants were more likely to be in this income group.

The difference between income groups of $200 to $499 and $500 and over is not statistically significant, so the likelihood of each of these income groups experiencing one or more legal events is the same.

Age

Compared to participants aged 65 or above, all other participants were more likely to experience legal events. Controlling for the effect of other demographic factors, the relative likelihood of experiencing any legal events for all age groups is shown in Figure 3.2.

From Figure 3.2:


These results assume that comparisons are made between people with the same income and the same disability status.

The position of 15 to 24-year-olds in this model is of particular interest. This age group is significantly more likely to experience legal events than all other age groups except those aged 35 to 54, and is more than 12 times more likely to experience one or more legal events than the 65 and over age group when comparisons are made between people in the same income band and with the same disability status. This was not the case when age alone was considered.

Figure 3.2: Relationship between age and likelihood of experiencing a legal event (same income band and disability status), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Disability

On its own, disability status was not significant but when income and age were held constant, participants with a disability were more likely to experience at least one legal event. A person with a disability was almost three times more likely to experience one or more legal events than a person without a disability (age and income being constant).



Types of legal events experienced


Specific legal events

Survey participants were asked whether they had experienced one or more of 84 different legal events in the twelve months prior to the survey.21 Table 3.3 shows those legal events that were experienced by over 5 per cent of all 306 survey participants.

Table 3.3: Legal events experienced by over 5 per cent of all survey participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Legal Event
Events No.
Participants %
Dispute with neighbours
39
12.7
Something stolen/vandalised
34
11.1
Made/altered or tried to make/alter a will
30
9.8
Bought/sold a property
30
9.8
Work related injury
24
7.8
Sale of goods/services problem
23
7.5
Victim of assault*
23
7.5
Problem over repayment of money owed to you
20
6.5
Problem paying a bill or debt
19
6.2
Child bullied/harassed at school (parent)
18
5.9
Problem with insurance
17
5.6
Dispute over terms/conditions of employment
16
5.2
Car accident resulting in property damage
16
5.2

Notes: n=306. *Excludes assaults by family or household members (coded under domestic violence). See Chapter 7 for frequencies for all legal event types.

Legal events experienced by particular groups

As noted in Chapter 2, for some event types, the relevant population was smaller than the total number of survey participants, because participants were not in a position to experience that type of event. Table 3.4 shows those individual legal event types that were experienced by more than 10 per cent of participants for whom this type of event was a possibility.

Table 3.4: Legal event types experienced by over 10 per cent of relevant participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Relevant
Event type
population
experienced by
Legal Event
No.
No.
%
Problems as a landlord
31
8
25.8
Problems related to small business
62
11
19.4
Child bullied/harassed at school (parent)
105
18
17.1
Problem about residence/contact
101
15
14.9
arrangements with child/ren
Dispute with neighbours
306
39
12.7
Problem accessing Government disability/
58
7
12.1
aged care services or non financial
assistance (as carer for 3rd party)
Problem with receipt/payment of child support
100
12
12
Something stolen vandalised
306
34
11.1
Problem related to tenancy
8
72
11.1
Dispute over terms/conditions of employment
149
16
10.7

While in some cases the number of legal events experienced is not large, all of the above events could be described as endemic issues, as they were experienced by at least one in ten relevant participants. Landlords and small business owners appear to be particularly prone to experiencing problems related to their business activities.

Over 10 per cent of participants with parental responsibilities experienced problems associated with either residence/contact arrangements or child support. The proportion of participants who were either divorced or separated from their partners and experienced one of these events may be considerably higher.

Neighbourhood disputes and property crimes were relatively common events. It is also noted that 17 per cent of participants with responsibility for a child stated that their child had been bullied or harassed at school, making bullying a considerable social problem for survey participants. In addition to parents reporting this phenomenon, one of the 47 student participants also indicated that s/he had experienced bullying or harassment at school during the 12 months prior to the survey.



Legal event groups


The 84 individual legal event types were categorised into 17 groups to allow further analysis.22 Figure 3.3 shows the percentage of the 306 participants that experienced at least one event within each event type.

Figure 3.3: Percentage of participants experiencing legal events by event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Table 3.5 shows:
Some participants experienced more than one of a particular event type, and most event types had instances where a participant had experienced multiple events. Credit and Debt, Employment and Family Law issues were particularly prone to multiple occurrences:
Table 3.5: Legal events experienced (event groups), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002
Type of Legal Event
Events No.
Events %
Participants %
Business
20
3.5
5.9
Consumer
45
7.9
12.4
Credit and Debt
45
7.9
10.8
Criminal Law
69
12.1
19.3
Detention
0
0
0
Domestic Violence
9
1.6
2.6
Education
27
4.5
7.8
Employment
35
6.1
8.5
Family Law and Relationships
47
8.2
8.8
Government
40
7
11.8
Health
10
1.7
2.6
Housing
91
15.9
25.2
Human Rights
12
2.1
3.3
Motor Vehicles
33
5.8
10.1
Personal Injury
35
6.1
11.4
Wills and Estates
53
9.3
16.3
Other (Uncategorised)
2
0.3
0.7

Notes: Participants n=306; Events n=572. Note that the low number of reported Domestic Violence events may be attributable to the under-reporting of this event type: see Chapter 7.


What factors affect the type of legal events experienced?


We assessed whether the type of event experienced was related to the demographic characteristics of participants. In the case of several event groups, the small number of events has meant that no patterns could be identified.

No relationship was found between gender, income or country of birth and experiencing any particular type of legal event. However, the following factors were all related to experiencing particular legal event types:


Age

The following significant relationships were identified between age and the types of legal events experienced by participants.


From the above, it appears that some types of legal events were associated with participants being at a particular stage of their life cycle. As figures 3.4 and 3.5 show, Consumer Law and Family Law events peak mid life and were generally less common in both younger and older age groups.

Figure 3.4: Percentage of Participants Experiencing Consumer Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Figure 3.5: Percentage of Participants Experiencing Family Law Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Figures 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 show that Credit and Debt, Criminal Law and Government events were all experienced at higher levels in 15 to 24-year-old participants than 25 to 34-year-olds, peaked mid life and tailed off for older participants.

Figure 3.6: Percentage of Participants Experiencing Credit & Debt Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Figure 3.7: Perecentage of Participants Experiencing Criminal Law Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Figure 3.8: Percentage of Participants Experiencing Government Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Indigenous status

Indigenous Australians were significantly more likely to experience Housing, Employment and Family Law related legal events than non-Indigenous participants.24

Level of education

Participants whose highest level of formal education was year ten were significantly less likely to experience Government related legal events, and participants whose highest level of formal education was a university degree or higher were significantly more likely to experience Government related legal events.25

Disability

Participants with a disability were significantly more likely to experience Human Rights and Health related events. The Health events category included a range of issues associated with chronic conditions, disability and ageing, so this result is unsurprising. It is also notable that other disadvantaged groups did not report significantly more Human Rights issues than other participants, suggesting that discrimination was a particular problem for disabled participants in this survey.



Summary




Ch 4. Deciding what to do


As noted in Chapter 2, of the 572 legal events identified a maximum of 3 events per participant were selected for analysis.26 This chapter examines whether participants sought outside assistance with these legal events, and, if no help was sought, the reasons behind this decision. It adopts an ‘events-based’ approach (that is, the basic unit is the legal event itself rather than the individual participant).


Was help sought?


Participants were asked whether they had sought any help or information, including written information. Help was not sought by participants in almost half of the 398 events examined. The overall results are set out in table 4.1.

Table 4.1: Whether help was sought (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

No.
%
Spoke to someone
153
38.4
Obtained written information
5
1.3
Both spoke to someone and obtained written information
49
12.3
Subtotal: sought assistance
207
52
No outside assistance
191
48

Notes: n=398. ‘ Written information’ included information on Internet sites.


What affected the decision to seek help?


This section examines whether seeking help for legal events was related to the importance of the legal event, the type of legal event or demographic characteristics of the participant.

For this stage of analysis, participants were divided into two groups: those that sought assistance and those that did not. The first issue examined was what factors (if any) may have a bearing on a participant’s decision to seek help.



The importance of the event


Survey participants were asked to indicate which event was their most important.27 Figure 4.1 shows the percentage of all events where help was sought and the percentage of the event identified as the most important.

Figure 4.1: Whether help sought by the importance of the event, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B2.

There was a statistically significant difference between the actions of participants in relation to their most important event compared to their actions overall. Not surprisingly, participants were significantly more likely to seek assistance with events that they identified as the most important.28 In other words, participants were more likely to seek assistance with events they considered to be important than those they considered to be less important.



The type of legal event


Figure 4.2 shows the percentage of each type of legal event where help was sought.29 Despite the disparities in the percentage of participants seeking help, (from 33 per cent to 100 per cent) no statistically significant relationship was found between the type of legal event and whether help was sought for that event.30

Figure 4.2: Legal events where help sought, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B3.

The ordering of event types by likelihood of seeking help suggests that the participants were less likely to seek help for events concerned with everyday living—employment, housing, health, credit and debt, consumer and Government issues, personal injury and motor vehicles—than for family matters—education, family law and relationships, domestic violence—and matters in areas more readily identifiable with the legal process—criminal law and business.



Demographic factors


Table 4.2 shows the percentage of legal events within each demographic characteristic where the survey participant sought help.

Again, despite apparent disparities, no statistically significant relationship was found between any individual demographic factor and the decision to seek help.



Factors most likely to affect the decision to seek help31


Factors most likely to affect the decision to seek help31

We examined demographic characteristics and legal event types simultaneously using logistic regression. There was no association between demographic factors or event type and seeking help. In short, the data does not support or imply any association between whether participants sought help or not and demographic factors or the nature of the legal event.

Table 4.2: Selected characteristics of participants in events where help sought, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Demographic Characteristic
Sought help (%)
All Events
Most Important/
Only Event
GenderFemale
54.6
65.3
Male
49.2
54.6
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
38.9
66.7
Non-Indigenous Australian
52.6
59.9
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
51.7
60.3
Born in non-English speaking country
58.8
55.6
Disability statusPerson with a disability
48.9
59.7
Person without a disability
53.6
60.3
IncomeIncome under $200/week
53.5
67.7
Income $200 to $499/week
50.7
53.8
Income $500 or over/week
51.7
64.3
Age Aged 15 to 24 years
39
35
Aged 25 to 34 years
60.9
80
Aged 35 to 44 years
52
59.3
Aged 45 to 54 years
49.5
59.6
Aged 55 to 64 years
57.1
64.5
Aged 65 years or over
53.3
60
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
57.1
72
Year 10 or equivalent
45
49.2
Year 12 or equivalent
46.4
57.9
Certificate/Diploma
56.3
58.8
University degree or higher
60.6
74.4
ALL LEGAL EVENTS
52
60.1


Notes: See Appendix A, Table A3 Column C (all events), Column D (where help sought) and Column H (most important event) for sample sizes and missing values.


Why participants didn't seek help


This section examines the reasons why help was not sought in 191 events of the 398 legal events examined. Participants were asked to indicate all reasons why they did not seek help, and then indicate their most important reason.


General


Table 4.3 shows the main reasons why help was not sought.

Table 4.3: Main reasons why help was not sought, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events wherehelp not sought
Most important/only event wherehelp not sought
Reason
All  
Most
All  
Most
reasons*
important
reasons*
important
reason
reason
Dealt with it myself
50.8
40.4
51.3
42.1
Problem not serious enough
22.4
17.5
22.4
21.1
Didn’t know where to get help
7.1
4.4
5.3
5.3
Thought it would not make any
6.6
5.5
5.3
5.3
difference
Couldn’t afford it
6
3.3
9.2
5.3
The problem was resolved before
I got around to seeking help
5.5
5.5
3.9
3.9

Notes: All n=183 No. missing=8; Most Important n=76 No. missing=3. See Table B4 for all responses. No significant difference between All Events and Most Important Event. *Multiple responses acceptable

Further analysis was carried out on the two most popular responses—that the participant dealt with the event themselves, and that the event was not serious enough, to see whether there were any relationships between these responses and either the demographic characteristics of participants or the legal event type.



Event was not serious enough


This reason for not seeking help was nominated in 22 per cent of events in which the participant did not seek help (10 per cent of all events). It was also ranked as the most important reason for not seeking help in 18 per cent of cases where help was not sought (8 per cent of all events).

Legal event type

Figure 4.3 shows the percentage of each legal event type where help was not sought because the event was not considered to be serious enough. There was no statistically significant relationship found between event type and participants considering the event not serious enough to seek help, principally due to the relatively small size of the sample.32

Figure 4.3: Events not serious enough to seek help, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B5 for raw numbers.

Demographic factors

Table 4.4 summarises what percentage of events were considered not important enough to seek outside assistance as experienced by each demographic group of participants. Significant relationships were found with gender, birthplace and disability status.


Table 4.4: Selected characteristics of participants where event not serious enough to seek help, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Demographic Characteristic
All Events
Most Important/Only Event
GenderFemale
14.9
8.6
Male
27.8
31.8
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
27.3
0
Non-Indigenous
21.1
22.1
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
20.1
20
Born in non-English speaking country
57.1
50
Disability statusPerson with a disability
11.6
14.8
Person without a disability
27
25
IncomeIncome under $200/week
24.2
30
Income $200 to $499/week
16
16.2
Income $500 or over/week
20
20
AgeAged 15 to 24 years
28
30.8
Aged 25 to 34 years
22.2
0
Aged 35 to 44 years
20
13.6
Aged 45 to 54 years
21.3
21.1
Aged 55 to 64 years
20.8
36.4
Aged 65 years or over
21.4
25
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
23.8
42.9
Year 10 or equivalent
25.8
22.6
Year 12 or equivalent
18.9
18.8
Certificate/Diploma
7.1
14.3
University degree or higher
21.6
10
ALL LEGAL EVENTS
21.5
21.5

Notes: Includes only events where help was not sought. See Appendix A, Table A3 Column E (all events) and Column J (most important event) for sample sizes and missing values.


Dealt with the event themselves


This reason for not seeking help was nominated in 51 per cent of events where the participant did not seek help (23 per cent of all events). It was also ranked as the most important reason for not seeking help in 40 per cent of events where help was not sought (19 per cent of all events).

Event type

Figure 4.4 shows the percentage of each legal event type where help was not sought because the participant dealt with the event themselves. There was no statistically significant relationship found between event type and whether participants dealt with the event themselves, principally due to the relatively small size of the sample.36

Figure 4.4: % Events participants dealt with themselves, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B6 for raw numbers.

Demographic factors

Table 4.5 summarises what percentage of events experienced by each demographic group of participants did not seek help because they dealt with the legal event themselves. Significant relationships were found with Indigenous status and disability status.


Table 4.5: Selected characteristics of participants who dealt with the event themselves, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Demographic Characteristic
All Events
Most Important/ Only Event
GenderFemale
51.1
45.5
Male
46.4
54.3
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
81.8
100
Non-Indigenous
46.7
48.1
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
48.4
49.3
Born in non-English speaking country
57.1
50
Disability statusPerson with a disability
47.8
33.3
Person without a disability
49.2
57.7
IncomeIncome under $200/week
42.4
40
Income $200 to $499/week
42.7
37.8
Income $500 or over/week
57.1
64
AgeAged 15 to 24 years
52
46.2
Aged 25 to 34 years
33.3
25
Aged 35 to 44 years
51.7
50
Aged 45 to 54 years
46.8
52.6
Aged 55 to 64 years
45.8
36.4
Aged 65 years or over
50
62.5
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
47.6
42.9
Year 10 or equivalent
47
48.4
Year 12 or equivalent
54.1
62.5
Certificate/Diploma
39.3
42.9
University degree or higher
56.8
50
ALL LEGAL EVENTS
48.7
49.4

Notes: Includes only events where help was not sought. See Appendix A, Table A3 Column E (all events) and Column J (most important event) for sample sizes and missing values.


Participants who chose to do nothing


Given that participants dealt with the event themselves in 49% of legal events where help was not sought (n=93), nothing at all was done to deal with the remaining 51 per cent of legal events where help was not sought.39 This represents one quarter of all legal events.

This section deals specifically with the 98 events where participants did nothing. In a similar study conducted in the United Kingdom, Genn (1999) describes this group as the ‘lumpers’.40



Why did some participants do nothing?


The largest group of participants who did nothing about events indicated that they took no action because the event was not important enough (29 per cent). A further 10 percent of those who did nothing stated that the matter was resolved before they got around to seeking help.

If events that were considered trivial and those that were already resolved are disregarded, the other expressed reasons for doing nothing about legal events take on greater importance. The affordability of assistance and knowledge about where to get help were important issues for some participants. Similarly, factors that are largely psychological (such as believing it would not make any difference or waiting it out hoping the matter would resolve itself) also represent important reasons for taking no action.41

Participants were asked to indicate all the reasons why they did not seek help, and then indicate their most important reason. Table 4.6 shows the reasons given for doing nothing in the 98 events where help was not sought and the participants did not handle the event themselves.

Table 4.6: Main reasons why nothing was done about events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events where
Most important/only
participant did
event where participant
nothing (%)
did nothing (%)
All Reasons*
Most important/only reason
All Reasons*
Most important/Only Reason
Not serious enough
28.9
26.7
35.1
32.4
Thought it would not make any difference
11.1
8.9
10.8
10.8
Resolved before I got around to seeking help
10
10
8.1
8.1
Couldn’t afford it
10
6.7
16.2
10.8
Didn’t know where or how to get help
7.8
7.8
8.1
8.1
Waiting it out/hoping it would resolve itself
7.8
7.8
0
0
Too busy
7.8
7.8
10.8
10.8

Notes: All events: n=90 No. missing=8; Includes only events where help not sought and participants didn’t deal with the event themselves. See Appendix B Table B7 for all responses. *Multiple responses acceptable.

Demographic factors

Because the ‘did nothing’ category includes all participants who stated that they did not deal with the matter themselves, the relationships associated with participants doing nothing are the reverse of the relationships associated with participants dealing with the event themselves.

Indigenous Australians who didn’t seek outside help were significantly less likely to do nothing than other participants, because they chose to deal with the event themselves.42

Legal event type

Figure 4.5 shows the percentage of each legal event type where participants did nothing. There was no relationship found between event type and whether participants did nothing.43

Figure 4.5: % Events where participants did nothing, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B6 for raw numbers.



Overview of how events were handled


This section draws together the discussion contained in the rest of the chapter. It summarises how all legal events were handled, dividing action into three categories:
Figure 4.6 shows the relative breakdown of each type of action for all legal events.

Figure 4.6: How participants handled events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002



Table 4.7 shows how all events were handled according to the demographic characteristics of participants. No significant relationships were found between any particular demographic characteristic and how the event was handled44

Table 4.7: Demographic characteristics and how events were handled (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Demographic Characteristic
Sought help
Dealt with themselves
Did nothing
GenderFemale
54.6
23.2
22.2
Male
49.2
23.6
27.2
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
38.9
50
11.1
Non-Indigenous
52.6
22.1
25.3
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
51.7
23.4
24.9
Born in non-English speaking
58.8
23.5
17.6
country
Disability statusPerson with a disability
48.9
24.4
26.7
Person without a disability
53.6
22.8
23.6
IncomeIncome under $200/week
53.5
19.7
26.8
Income $200 to $499/week
50.7
21.1
28.3
Income $500 or over/week
51.7
27.6
20.7
AgeAged 15 to 24 years
39
31.7
29.3
Aged 25 to 34 years
60.9
13
26.1
Aged 35 to 44 years
52
24.8
23.2
Aged 45 to 54 years
49.5
23.7
26.9
Aged 55 to 64 years
57.1
19.6
23.2
Aged 65 years or over
53.3
23.3
23.3
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
57.1
20.4
22.4
Year 10 or equivalent
45
25.8
29.2
Year 12 or equivalent
46.4
29
24.6
Certificate/Diploma
56.3
17.2
26.6
University degree or higher
60.6
22.3
17
ALL LEGAL EVENTS
52
23.4
24.6

Notes: See Appendix A Table A3 Columns D (sought help), F (dealt with it themselves) and G (did nothing) for sample sizes and missing values.

Figure 4.7 and Appendix B, Table B8 show how the event was handled for each event type. No significant relationships were found due to the small sample size, as the test used, Pearson chi-square, lacks sensitivity when cell values are small.

Figure 4.7: How events were handled by legal event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002



Summary




Ch 5. The experience of seeking help


This chapter examines what happened in the 207 examined events where the participant sought outside assistance (52 per cent). As well as looking at participants’ pathways to assistance, it examines participants’ expectations, what was delivered and barriers to accessing assistance.


Where participants went for help


Participants were asked to indicate all the places they went for help. They were then asked to indicate the first place they went for help and then the place where they obtained the most useful assistance. Over 20 sources of assistance were identified, as shown in Table 5.1.

Personal contacts were clearly important sources of assistance, as they were used in 27 per cent of all events. For 15 per cent of events, the first source of assistance was a friend or relative, and for 11 per cent this source was considered the most useful.

When all legal sources45 are combined, assistance was received from a legal source in 41 per cent of events, with this being seen as the most useful source of assistance in 26 per cent of events. The top ranking source of assistance in all three categories (all places, first place and most useful place) was a barrister or solicitor.

Given the breadth of range of legal events covered by the survey, the range of organisations approached for assistance is also broader than may be found in a survey more focussed on court centred legal events. Participants approached a broad range of specialists, including professionals and commercial organisations such as insurance companies, loan brokers and debt collectors. Similarly, contacts such as employers, school counsellors and trade unions were also used in relevant circumstances.

Table 5.1: Where help was sought (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All Sources*1st      Most Useful
Source of help
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
Personal Contacts
56
27.2
31
15
23
11.2
Other friend or relative
47
22.8
27
13.1
19
9.2
Friend or relative who works as a lawyer
9
4.4
4
1.9
4
1.9
Published sources
11
5.3
3
1.5
7
3.4
Internet
8
3.9
1
0.5
4
1.9
Self Help Source
3
1.5
2
1
3
1.5
Legal
84
40.8
49
23.8
54
26.2
Private Solicitor/Barrister
65
31.6
43
20.9
48
23.3
Local Court
8
3.9
1
0.5
3
1.5
Legal Aid/Aboriginal Legal Service
6
2.9
2
1
3
1.5
Community Legal Centre
5
2.4
3
1.5
0
0
Government
48
23.3
24
11.7
26
12.6
Government Organisation
31
15
17
8.3
21
10.2
Local Council
10
4.9
6
2.9
5
2.4
Member of Parliament
7
3.4
1
0.5
0
0
Police/Complaint-Handling
38
18.4
28
13.6
27
13.1
Police
27
13.2
22
10.7
19
9.2
Industry Complaint-Handling Body
11
5.3
6
2.9
8
3.9
(e.g. Banking Ombudsman)
Other
112
54.4
71
34.5
69
33.5
Other Professional
24
11.7
14
6.8
14
6.8
School/School Counsellor/
19
9.2
13
6.3
13
6.3
Teacher/Uni
Other community group,
17
8.3
12
5.8
11
5.3
organisation or person
Private Agency/Organisation/
12
5.8
9
4.4
8
3.9
Real Estate Agent
Company/Business/Bank
11
5.3
8
3.9
7
3.4
Insurance Broker/Insurance
10
4.9
8
3.9
7
3.4
Company
Trade Union or Professional Body
8
3.9
4
1.9
4
1.9
Employer
7
3.4
3
1.5
4
1.9
Library
3
1.5
0
0
1
0.5
Other Individual
1
0.5
0
0
0
0

Notes: n=206; No. missing=1 *Multiple responses acceptable.

The top ranking sources are summarised in Table 5.2 below.

Table 5.2: Where help was sought: top ranking sources (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Source
All*
First
Most Useful
Private Solicitor/Barrister
1
1
1
Friend/Relative
2
2
2
Government Organisation
3
4
3
Police
4
3
4
Other Professional
5
5
5
School/University/School counsellor/Teacher
6
6
6
Other Community Group
7
7
7
Private Agency/Real Estate Agent
8
8
8
Industry Complaint Body
9
11
8
Company/Business/Bank
9
9
10
Insurance Broker/Company
11
9
10
Local Council
11
11
12

Notes: *Multiple responses acceptable. ‘1’ = most frequently utilised.


How many places did participants go to for help


As Figure 5.1 below shows, in a clear majority of events where participants sought help only one source was approached (60 per cent) and the vast majority (85 per cent) approached one or two sources. However, in the remaining 15 per cent of events, participants approached three or more sources, and the maximum number of sources for any individual event was eight.

Figure 5.1: Number of places approached for help, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B9 for raw numbers.


Help sought and help delivered


What were participants seeking?

Participants were asked a series of questions about their experiences seeking help from the source that they identified as the most useful. (As noted in Figure 5.1, in 60 per cent of cases, this was their only source of assistance.)

Firstly, participants were asked to indicate from a list of options what type of assistance they were seeking when approaching this source. Multiple responses were acceptable. The results are set out in Table 5.3.46

Table 5.3: Types of assistance sought, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All Events
Most Important
/Only Event
Response
No.
%
No.
%
To get specific advice/assistance
140
84.8
84
87.5
To know more about the law
107
64.8
57
59.4
To know where to go for help
84
50.9
40
41.7
To find a lawyer
42
25.5
22
22.9
Something else
4
2.4
3
3.1

Notes: n=165 No. missing=42. Multiple responses acceptable. No significant difference in responses between the most important event and all events.

Only a small percentage of participants were specifically seeking legal representation. The vast majority wanted specific assistance, and almost two thirds wanted information about the law as well as specific assistance. In over half of all events, participants seemingly didn’t know where to find help, as they were seeking information about sources of assistance.

No significant relationships were found between legal event type and the type of assistance sought due to the small sample size.



Types of assistance provided


As noted in Chapter 4, of those who sought assistance, 2 per cent stated that they received only written information, 74 per cent spoke to someone, and 24 per cent both spoke to someone and received written information.47

Participants were also asked what type of assistance they had received.

As Table 5.4 shows, participants received information (either about available services or the law) in 41 per cent of events and advice in 64 per cent of events where help was sought. Active assistance was provided in 38 per cent of events, and that action was taken by a lawyer in 22 per cent of events. Almost 7 per cent of participants considered that they received no assistance.

Table 5.4: Types of assistance received , Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Responses
All Events%
Most Important/Only Event%
Specific advice about the problem
64.1
64.3
Something to read with general information
22.7
20.9
about the law
Information about available services
18.7
19.1
Lawyer took action
15.7
16.5
Non lawyer took action
15.7
12.2
Lawyer represented in formal process
6.1
7.8
Something else
2
0.9
No help provided
6.6
6.1

Notes: n=198; No. missing=9. Multiple responses acceptable. No significant difference in responses between most important events and all events.


Barriers to access


Participants were asked the following questions to identify potential barriers to assistance:
Problems experienced

Participants who sought assistance were asked whether they had experienced any of a list of potential problems in getting that assistance. Participants stated that they experienced problems when seeking assistance in 51 per cent of legal events where help was sought. The main problems experienced are listed below.

Table 5.5: Problems experienced in getting assistance (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All Events
Most Important/Only Event
Nature of Problem
No.
%
No.
%
Telephone engaged/on hold too long
56
27.5
33
27.7
Advice not available locally/couldn’t get there
50
24.5
26
21.8
Difficulty getting appointment
43
21.1
27
22.7
Difficulty affording it
33
16.2
21
17.6
Problem with opening hours
31
15.2
16
13.4
No Internet access
17
8.3
10
8.4

Notes: n=204; No. missing=3; Multiple responses acceptable. See Appendix B, Table B10 for all responses. No significant difference between all events and most important event.

The lack of local services was a problem in almost a quarter of legal events. The relatively limited number of local services available in regional areas also places additional pressure on those services that do exist, leading to such problems as difficulty getting an appointment (21 per cent), phone lines being engaged (28 per cent) or problems with opening hours (15 per cent).

Service providers are increasingly relying on Internet services and telephone hotlines to deliver services to rural areas. Problems with telephone services were experienced in over a quarter of events where help was sought. Furthermore, forty-three per cent of all survey participants indicated that they did not have any access to the Internet, and participants experienced problems due to their lack of ability to access the Internet in 8 per cent of events where help was sought.

The relative lack of community-based services in regional areas can also force people into using options requiring payment for services to resolve legal events. Difficulty affording assistance was experienced by 16 per cent of survey participants.

Distance

Distance will often be an issue in regional and rural areas, particularly when combined with a lack of local services. Participants were drawn from seven townships and their surrounding areas in the Bega Valley Shire.48 Bega Valley Shire is located on the lower South Coast of New South Wales and, as noted earlier, does not have either a Legal Aid office or a community legal centre.

Figure 5.2 shows the distance travelled in events where help was sought.

Figure 5.2: Distance travelled to get assistance, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B11 for raw numbers.

In 32 per cent of events participants did not travel. For all events, the cumulative figures are:


Special services

Participants were asked whether they needed access to a range of special services while seeking help. Service types included services associated with disabilities, home visits, and a place for children to play. No special services were needed for 93 per cent of events.49

Of the 19 participants who indicated they required special services, 15 stated that they received the special services they needed. The four services that were desired but not provided were:


Language can also be a barrier to accessing assistance. Problems with language can be heightened where legal events are concerned, and even people who are otherwise relatively fluent in English may have difficulty where complex legal issues and concepts are involved. In this context, it is noted that seven participants indicated that they preferred to communicate in a language other than English. While this is a small number, it represents 47 per cent of participants who were born in a non-English speaking country. A similar result in an area with a higher proportion of migrants would have significant implications for service delivery in terms of availability of interpreters and translated materials.


Satisfaction with assistance


Participants were asked whether they were satisfied, dissatisfied or neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with the assistance that they had received.50

Figure 5.3: Satisfaction with assistance, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B13 for raw numbers.


What affected satisfaction with assistance?


Those who stated that they were dissatisfied were asked to provide reasons for their dissatisfaction, which were recorded verbatim. No detailed analysis was conducted on the verbatim responses.

However, broadly speaking, the reasons for dissatisfaction with the assistance fell into two categories.


We then examined satisfaction with assistance against a number of factors to determine what, if anything, affected satisfaction with assistance.

Legal event type

Figure 5.4 shows the percentage of each legal event type where the participant was satisfied with the assistance received. No particular conclusions can be drawn due to the small sample size and the relative insensitivity of the Pearson chi-square test where expected cell values are small.

Figure 5.4: Satisfaction with assistance and event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Demographic factors

Table 5.6 shows the percentage of events where participants were satisfied with assistance by a range of demographic characteristics. The only significant relationship found was with country of birth. Participants born in a non-English speaking country were satisfied with the assistance received in only 10 per cent of events. This group was significantly less likely to be satisfied with the assistance provided to them than participants born in an English speaking country, who were satisfied with the assistance provided in 72 per cent of events.51

Verbatim reasons for dissatisfaction from participants born in non-English speaking country were the same types of reasons given by other dissatisfied participants, and do not shed any light on why participants from non English backgrounds should be particularly unhappy with the assistance provided to them, except perhaps that these feelings were more intensely experienced.

Table 5.6: Selected characteristics for participants who were satisfied with assistance, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Participants who were


satisfied with assistance
Demographic Characteristic
No.
%
GenderFemale
79
71.2
Male
60
65.9
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
5
71.4
Non-Indigenous
134
68.7
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
138
71.9
Born in non-English speaking country
1
10
Disability statusPerson with a disability
46
71.9
Person without a disability
93
67.4
IncomeIncome under $200/week
26
68.4
Income $200 to $499/week
49
64.5
Income $500 or over/week
53
73.6
Missing
11
Age Aged 15 to 24 years
10
62.5
Aged 25 to 34 years
20
76.9
Aged 35 to 44 years
36
56.3
Aged 45 to 54 years
31
70.5
Aged 55 to 64 years
27
84.4
Aged 65 years or over
13
81.3
Missing
2
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
21
75
Year 10 or equivalent
30
56.6
Year 12 or equivalent
22
73.3
Certificate/Diploma
27
77.1
University degree or higher
39
69.6
ALL EVENTS
139
68.8

Whether the event was resolved

Given the verbatim reasons for dissatisfaction referred to above, we explored the possible relationship between satisfaction with assistance and whether the participant considered that the event was resolved.

Figure 5.5: Satisfaction with assistance and whether the event was resolved, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


A very strong relationship was found between resolution of the event and satisfaction with the assistance provided.52 Participants were significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with the assistance when they considered that the event was unresolved. Those participants who considered that the event was either resolved or in the process of resolution tended to be satisfied with assistance.

Interestingly, a higher percentage was satisfied with assistance when they considered the event to be in the process of resolution than was satisfied when the event was actually resolved. This suggests that once the outcome is known, the nature of the outcome may have a negative effect on the participant’s satisfaction with the assistance provided if the outcome was not the desired one.

Looking further, the manner in which the event was resolved also seemed to affect satisfaction with assistance. While resolution had a positive effect on satisfaction with assistance in events that were resolved without legal proceedings, this pattern was not repeated for events that were resolved through legal proceedings. Thus participants were more likely to be satisfied with the assistance they received if an event was resolved through something other than formal legal proceedings in a court or tribunal. In short, participants preferred not to go to court.53

Table 5.7: Satisfaction with assistance received and whether the event was resolved (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Status of event
Satisfied
Neither
Dissatisfied
Resolved by legal proceedings
69.2
15.4
15.4
Resolved another way
79
5
16
Subtotal: All Resolved
77.9
6.2
15.9
In the process of resolution
88.5
7.7
3.8
Not resolved
44.4
11.1
44.4
All Events
68.8
7.9
23.3

Notes: n=202 No. missing=5

Satisfaction with outcome

Participants were also asked separately about their satisfaction with the outcome of the legal event to see whether those that sought help differentiated between their satisfaction with the assistance they received and their satisfaction with the outcome of the event.

As the verbatim responses discussed above would suggest, there is a strong relationship between satisfaction with the assistance received and satisfaction with the outcome of the event.54 Participants were satisfied with the assistance given in 93 per cent of cases where they were satisfied with the outcome. Conversely, where participants were dissatisfied with the outcome only 40 per cent were satisfied with the assistance.

Table 5.8: Satisfaction with assistance received and satisfaction with outcome (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Satisfaction with outcome
Satisfied
Neither
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
92.7
1.8
5.5
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
44.1
20.6
35.5
Dissatisfied
39.7
12.1
48.3
All Events
68.8
7.9
23.3

Notes: n=202 No. missing=5


Summary




Ch 6. Outcomes


This chapter examines whether participants considered that the legal events they experienced were resolved and their overall levels of satisfaction.


Were legal events resolved?


All participants were asked whether they considered the event to be resolved. Fifty-seven per cent of participants considered the event to be resolved, 32 per cent unresolved and 11 per cent in the process of resolution.

Figure 6.1: Whether events were resolved: Bega Valley LGA Piloy Survey, October–November 2002


The question of whether a particular event is resolved is related to its timing. Given that the survey covers events that occurred any time during the previous twelve months, events that occurred some time ago were more likely to have been resolved than events occurring more recently. The survey did not examine the timing of events, and conclusions about resolution will be affected by this random factor.55

Furthermore, while a definite end point can be found for events such as the purchase of a house or execution of a will, the issue of whether some other events are resolved is largely subjective. For example, one person who has had some property stolen may accept that they will not get it back and consider the event resolved once reported to the police, while another may consider the event unresolved unless and until their property is recovered. It is thus important to remember that resolution is related to the perceptions and expectations of individual participants, a latent factor that cannot be measured.



How the event was resolved


As shown in figure 6.1, 18 events (approximately 5 per cent of events) were resolved through legal proceedings. The individual event types are listed in Table 6.1.

Table 6.1: Events resolved through legal proceedings, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Event group
No. Events
Description of events
Family Law
3
Residence/contact (2)
Divorce/separation
Motor Vehicle
3
Loss of licence (2)
Fine (challenged)
Business
3
Landlord problem (2)
Small business problem
Wills and Estates
3
Power of Attorney
Executor
Will
Criminal Law
2
Victim of Assault (2)
Government
1
Other fine (challenged)
Employment
1
Unfair termination
Domestic Violence
1
AVO respondent
Housing
1
Buy/sell property

A relationship was observed between income and how events were resolved. Those on incomes of $500 or over per week were less likely to resolve events through formal legal proceedings than those on lower incomes.56 It may seem counter intuitive that wealthier participants, who could better afford to resolve events through legal proceedings, choose not to. Perhaps it reflects the fact that those with higher incomes are better able to leverage resolution of events in other ways without the need to resort to formal proceedings.



What affected whether the event was resolved?


For the purposes of further analysis, events that were in the process of being resolved and those that were unresolved have been combined and are jointly dealt with as ‘not resolved’ unless otherwise indicated.

Legal event type

Figure 6.2 details the percentage of resolved events for each type of legal event. A relationship was found between the type of legal event and whether it was resolved.57


Figure 6.2: Whether event resolved by event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B14 for raw numbers.

Demographic factors

Table 6.2 provides the demographic characteristics of participants where events have been resolved.

The only demographic factor that was associated with resolution was Indigenous status. Events experienced by Indigenous Australians were significantly more likely to be unresolved than resolved.58

Table 6.2: Selected Characteristics and whether event was resolved (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Demographic Characteristic
Sought
Dealt with
Did
All
Help
themselves
nothing
GenderFemale
61.9
68.8
36.4
58
Male
47.8
71.1
56.5
55.7
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
14.3
22.2
0
16.7
Non-Indigenous
57.1
75
47.7
58.9
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
56.9
75
46
57.4
Born in non-English speaking country
30
69.7
66.7
47.1
Disability statusPerson with a disability
51.5
66.7
50
55
Person without a disability
57.6
71.7
44.8
58
IncomeIncome under $200/week
57.9
78.6
55.6
61.4
Income $200 to $499/week
42.9
59.4
46.2
47.3
Income $500 or over/week
63
72.5
42.9
61.7
AgeAged 15 to 24 years
68.8
69.2
63.6
67.5
Aged 25 to 34 years
51.9
66.7
36.4
50
Aged 35 to 44 years
63.1
71
41.4
60
Aged 45 to 54 years
37.8
68.2
45.5
47.2
Aged 55 to 64 years
56.3
72.7
46.2
57.1
Aged 65 years or over
68.8
71.4
75
70.4
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
42.9
40
35.3
43.8
Year 10 or equivalent
49.1
74.2
53.3
51.7
Year 12 or equivalent
62.5
70
57.1
62.7
Certificate/Diploma
51.4
81.8
46.7
58.3
University degree or higher
66.7
71.4
45.5
64.5
ALL LEGAL EVENTS
55.6
69.9
46.7
57

Notes: See Appendix A, Table A3 Columns C (all events), D (sought help), F (dealt with it themselves) and G (did nothing) for sample sizes and missing values.

How the event was handled

Whether participants sought help or not had no effect on whether the event was resolved. However, different results arose when those who didn’t seek help were divided into those who said they dealt with it themselves, and those who did nothing.

Table 6.3: Whether the event was resolved by how the event was handled (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

How handled
Not resolved %
In process of resolution %
Resolved %
Did nothing
45.6
7.8
46.7
Dealt with themselves
20.4
9.7
69.9
Sought help
31.2
13.2
55.6
All
32
11.1
57


Notes: Did nothing: n=90 No. missing=8; Dealt with it yourself n=90 No. missing=0; Sought help n=205 No. missing=2; All n=388 No. missing=10

A strong relationship was found between how the event was handled and whether the participant considered that it had been resolved:59


When demographic factors were included in the analysis (See Table 6.2), the following relationships were found:


Factors most likely to affect resolution64


Factors most likely to affect resolution64

The above analysis has examined each characteristic separately. When all demographic characteristics, event type and how the event was handled were examined simultaneously using logistic regression, the following factors were all relevant predictors of whether an event was resolved:
For events of the same type and participants of the same Indigenous status, participants who dealt with events themselves were more likely to have the event resolved than participants who sought help or did nothing. There was no significant difference in the likelihood of resolving events between participants who sought help with an event and those who did nothing.

For events of the same type and handled in the same way, Indigenous Australians were less likely to have their events resolved than participants who were not Indigenous Australians. Note that this is despite the fact that Indigenous Australians were more likely to deal with events themselves than other participants.

Taking all of the above factors into account allows us to make a more accurate prediction of the relationship between resolution and legal event type. All legal events can be classified into three groups based on their likelihood of being resolved. The likelihood for events to be resolved is the same within each group, but differs between groups.

Table 6.4: Likelihood of resolution by legal event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Likelihood of matter being resolvedLegal event type
Most likely to be resolvedBusiness
Motor Vehicle
Domestic Violence
Housing
Wills and Estates
Health
Education
Human Rights
Least likely to be resolvedPersonal Injury
Credit & Debt
Consumer
Government
Family
Criminal Law
Employment

Notes: See Appendix C, Table C7.A for the specifications of the regression model.


Were participants satisfied with outcomes?


All participants were asked to indicate whether they were satisfied with the outcome (or, where relevant, lack of outcome) of their legal events. This was asked separately to the question of whether those who sought assistance were satisfied with that assistance.

Overall, participants were satisfied in 56 per cent of events, dissatisfied in 27 per cent and neither satisfied nor dissatisfied in 17 per cent of events.

Figure 6.3: Satisfaction with outcome, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Participants who were dissatisfied were asked to provide reasons for dissatisfaction, which were recorded verbatim.

No detailed analysis was conducted on the verbatim responses; however, broadly speaking, participants who had sought assistance gave similar reasons to those provided for dissatisfaction with the assistance.65 While many referred specifically to an unsatisfactory outcome, or dissatisfaction due to delay in reaching outcome, participants also complained about poor service, cost or lack of helpful assistance.

Participants who had not sought outside help were dissatisfied about such issues as the fact that the event was unresolved, that the situation or outcome was unfair, or that the event was expensive to remedy.



What factors affected satisfaction with outcome?


Event type

Figure 6.4 details the percentage of events where participants were satisfied organised by event type. The following relationships were found between event type and satisfaction:66


Figure 6.4: Satisfaction with outcome and event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Notes: See Appendix B, Table B15 for raw numbers.

Comparing figures 6.2 (resolution) and 6.4 (satisfaction), generally speaking, participants tended to be satisfied for the same event types that tended to be resolved. The exceptions were:


Demographic factors

Table 6.5 details the percentage of participants satisfied by a range of demographic factors. Age, country of birth and Indigenous status were all factors that had a significant impact on satisfaction.


Table 6.5: Selected characteristics and satisfaction with outcome (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Demographic Characteristic
Sought
Dealt with
Did
All
Help
themselves
nothing
GenderFemale
61.6
72.9
36.4
58.8
Male
44.6
71.1
55.3
53.8
Indigenous statusIndigenous Australian
42.9
11.1
0
22.2
Non-Indigenous
54.3
78.6
47.2
58.1
BirthplaceBorn in English speaking country
55.7
74.2
47.7
58.2
Born in non-English speaking country
20
25
0
17.6
Disability statusPerson with a disability
56.1
72.7
42.4
56.8
Person without a disability
52.9
71.7
48.3
56.3
IncomeIncome under $200/week
60.5
57.1
41
59.2
Income $200 to $499/week
41
71.9
42.9
49.3
Income $500 or over/week
58.9
77.5
45.3
61
AgeAged 15 to 24 years
68.8
69.2
58.3
65.9
Aged 25 to 34 years
55.6
83.3
27.3
52.3
Aged 35 to 44 years
48.4
74.2
41.4
53.2
Aged 45 to 54 years
40
63.6
45.5
47.2
Aged 55 to 64 years
65.6
72.7
46.2
62.5
Aged 65 years or over
75
71.4
100
77.8
EducationDid not finish/yet to finish school
57.1
40
30
47.9
Year 10 or equivalent
51.9
77.4
60
61
Year 12 or equivalent
59.4
75
46.7
61.2
Certificate/Diploma
57.1
90.9
50
61.7
University degree or higher
49.1
66.7
13.3
47.3
ResolutionEvent resolved
80.5
87.7
71.4
80.9
Event in the process of resolution
51.9
77.8
42.9
55.8
Event not resolved
7.8
15.8
19.5
12.9
ALL LEGAL EVENTS
53.9
72
46.2
56.4

Notes: See Appendix A, Table A3 Columns C (all events), D (sought help), F (dealt with it themselves) and G (did nothing) for sample sizes and missing values.

Satisfaction with outcomes and satisfaction with assistance

Initial analysis was conducted separating participants into those who sought help and those who did not. The level of satisfaction with outcome did not differ between respondents who sought help and those who did not.

However, as discussed in Chapter 5, for participants who sought help, the level of satisfaction with the help they received was strongly related to their satisfaction with outcome. Participants who were satisfied with the assistance received were significantly more likely to be satisfied with the outcome. Conversely, participants who were not satisfied with the assistance received tended to be either dissatisfied or neutral about the outcome.70

Table 6.6: Satisfaction with outcomes by satisfaction with assistance (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Satisfaction with outcome (%)

Satisfaction with assistance
Satisfied
Neither
Dissatisfied
Total
Not satisfied with assistance
12.9
30.6
56.5
100
Satisfied with assistance
72.7
10.8
16.5
100
All events
54.2
16.9
28.9
100

Notes: n=201 No. missing=6; c2=61.887 df=2 p=.000. ‘Not satisfied’ included both ‘dissatisfied’ and ‘neither satisfied nor dissatisfied’. ‘Neither satisfied not dissatisfied with assistance’ and ‘Dissatisfied with assistance’ were combined into ‘Not satisfied with assistance’ due to small cell values.

Whether any action was taken

Further analysis was conducted after separating those who did not seek help into those who handled the event themselves and those who did nothing at all. While seeking outside help made no difference to the participants’ satisfaction, whether the participant took any action themselves did affect satisfaction with outcome.

Table 6.7: Satisfaction with outcomes by how the event was handled (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Satisfaction with outcome (%)

Satisfied %
Neither satisfied
Dissatisfied %
How Handled
nor dissatisfied %
Did nothing
46.2
20.9
33.3
Dealt with themselves
72
9.7
18.3
Sought help
53.9
17.6
28.4
All Events
56.4
16.5
27.1

Notes: Did nothing n=91 No. missing=7; Dealt with self n=93 No. missing=0; Help n=204 No. missing=3; All n=388 No. missing=10.

Participants’ satisfaction with the outcome was related to how the event was handled:71


Bringing in demographic factors, the following additional relationships were found:
Whether the event was resolved

The results on satisfaction with assistance discussed in Chapter 5, the above discussion and the verbatim responses of dissatisfied participants combine to suggest that a relationship exists between satisfaction and whether the event was resolved.

Table 6.8: Satisfaction with outcome by whether event resolved (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Satisfaction with outcome (%)

Satisfied %
Neither satisfied
Dissatisfied %
Whether resolved
nor dissatisfied %
Resolved
80.9
10
9.1
In process of resolution
55.8
27.9
16.3
Not resolved
12.9
24.2
62.9
All Events
56.4
16.5
27.1

Notes: Resolved n=220; In process of resolution n=43; Not yet resolved n=124; All n=387; No. missing=11.

A very strong relationship exists between resolution and satisfaction.76 The vast majority of respondents (81 per cent) whose event was resolved were satisfied, and these participants were significantly less likely to be neutral or dissatisfied than other participants. Conversely, only 13 per cent of participants were satisfied when the event had not been resolved, and this group was significantly more likely to be dissatisfied than other participants.

As noted in Chapter 5, participants whose events were in the process of being resolved were strongly satisfied with assistance (89 per cent). However, their satisfaction with outcome (56 per cent) was lower and they tended towards being neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (28 per cent), presumably waiting for an outcome before making a firm decision about satisfaction.

Table 6.9: Satisfaction with outcome by resolution and action taken (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Satisfaction with outcome to date (%)

How HandledOutcome
Satisfied
Neither
Dissatisfied
No.
Did NothingNot resolved
22.9
27.1
50.3
48
Resolved
71.4
14.3
14.3
42
Total
45.5
21.1
33.3
90
Dealt with itNot resolved
35.7
17.9
46.4
28
themselvesResolved
87.7
6.2
6.2
65
Total
72
9.7
18.3
93
Sought HelpNot resolved
20.9
26.4
52.7
91
Resolved
80.5
10.6
8.8
113
Total
53.9
17.6
28.4
204

Notes: Help sought: c2=74.518 df=2 p=.000; Did nothing: c2=21.881 df=2 p=.000; Dealt with themselves; c2=27.474 df=2 p=.000

As Table 6.9 shows, this pattern of satisfaction remains unchanged even when we introduce how the event was handled. Where events were resolved, participants tended strongly towards satisfaction over neutrality or dissatisfaction, and where events were unresolved participants tended towards dissatisfaction. Interestingly, the relationships were more extreme where help was sought.



Factors most likely to affect satisfaction77


Factors most likely to affect satisfaction77

The above analysis has examined each characteristic separately. When all demographic characteristics, event type, whether the event was considered resolved and how the event was handled were examined simultaneously, the following factors were all relevant predictors of a participant’s overall satisfaction with the outcome of an event:
Not surprisingly, participants were significantly more satisfied when the event was resolved. In fact, all other things being equal, a participant who considered the event resolved was 17 times more likely to be satisfied than a participant who did not consider the event to be resolved.

Participants who dealt with the event themselves were also significantly (more than two times) more likely to be satisfied than participants who either did nothing or sought help. There was no difference in satisfaction levels between events where participants sought help and events where they did nothing. The results assume that comparisons are made between participants with the same event type, birthplace and education level, and hold true whether the event was resolved or not.

All other things being equal, participants born in an English speaking country were significantly more satisfied with the outcome (9 times more) than those born in a non-English speaking country. The results assume that comparisons are made between participants who handled events the same way and had the same event type and education level and hold true whether the event was resolved or not.

Participants with Year 10 qualifications, Year 12 qualifications or a Certificate/Diploma were more satisfied than participants with university qualifications or no qualifications. Education categories can be classified into three groups based on their level of satisfaction as shown in Table 6.10. Satisfaction is the same within groups, but differs between groups. The results assume that comparisons are made between participants who handled events the same way and had the same event type and birthplace and hold true whether the event was resolved or not.

Note that, once the fact that events experienced by Indigenous Australians tended to be unresolved is controlled for, Indigenous Australians are no less likely to be satisfied with the outcome than non Indigenous participants.

Table 6.10: Likelihood of satisfaction by highest educational qualification, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

SatisfactionLegal event type
Most satisfiedYear 10 or equivalent
Certificate/Diploma
Year 12 or equivalent
Did not/have not finished school
Least satisfiedUniversity degree or higher

Notes: See Appendix C, Table C8.A for the specifications of the regression model.

Event types fell into three broad categories regarding participants’ level of satisfaction with outcome, as shown in Table 6.11 below. Satisfaction was the same within categories, but differed between categories.

Table 6.11: Likelihood of satisfaction by legal event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

SatisfactionLegal event type
Most satisfiedPersonal Injury
Wills and Estates
Motor Vehicle
Education
Family Law
Housing
Least SatisfiedHuman Rights
Government
Consumer
Credit & Debt
Employment
Criminal Law
Business
Domestic Violence
Health

Notes: See Appendix C, Table C8.A for the specifications of the regression model.


Summary




Ch 7. Summary of key results for legal event types


This chapter draws together results associated with each type of legal event (total legal events = 572). Only statistically significant relationships are reported.

Key to symbols



Business





Table 7.1: Business related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Problem as owner of a small business
12
3.9
19.4
62
Problem as a landlord
8
2.6
25.8
31

While only a small number of events, it represents a very high percentage of relevant participants who experienced these events. No significant relationships were found between any demographic factors (gender, age, income, education, ethnicity and disability status) and the occurrence of business related events.

Business events tended to be resolved. Despite this, participants experiencing Business events were in the group that was least likely to be satisfied with the outcome.



Consumer





Table 7.2: Consumer legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002
Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Sale of goods/services problem
23
7.5
7.5
306
Problem with insurance
17
5.6
5.6
306
Problem with superannuation
4
1.3
1.3
306
Dispute with bank*
1
N/A
N/A
N/A

Notes: * This legal event was not included in the original list of legal events, but was identified as an “other problem” by one participant and later coded into this event group. This event type has now been added to the survey instrument.

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Consumer events was age. Consumer events broadly followed a bell curve, with participants aged 25 to 54 tending to experience more consumer events than those in older and younger age groups.79

Figure 7.1: % Experiencing Consumer Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Consumer events tended to be unresolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Consumer events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.


Credit and Debt





Table 7.3: Credit and debt related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Problem over repayment of money owed
20
6.5
6.5
306
to you
Problem paying a bill, loan or debt
19
6.2
6.2
306
Dispute about Credit Reference Rating
3
1
1
306
Problem with actual or possible bankruptcy
2
0.7
0.7
306
Problem as guarantor for somebody else
1
0.3
0.3
306

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Credit and Debit events was age. As figure 7.2 shows, Credit and debt events followed a broad life cycle pattern among participants, peaking during prime adult years and gradually tailing off as participants aged.

Participants aged 65 and over experienced significantly fewer Credit and Debit events than other participants, and those aged 55 to 64 also tended to experience fewer Credit and Debt issues. Conversely, those aged 35 to 44 experienced significantly more Credit and Debt events than other ages. Participants aged 15 to 24 also tended to experience more Credit and Debt events.80

Figure 7.2: % Experiencing Credit & Debt Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Credit and Debt events tended to be unresolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Credit and Debt events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.


Criminal Law





Table 7.4: Criminal law legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002
Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Something stolen or vandalised
34
11.1
11.1
306
Victim of assault
23
7.5
7.5
306
Unfair treatment by police
6
2
8
75
Police failing to investigate a crime
5
1.6
6.7
75
Problem with bail or remand
1
0.3
1.3
75
Charged with a criminal offence
0
0
0
75

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Criminal Law events was age. Criminal Law events followed a similar life cycle to Credit and Debt events. The incidence of Criminal Law events peaked in the 35 to 54 age group. Participants aged 25 to 34 and 55 to 64 experienced relatively fewer Criminal Law events and those over 65 experienced significantly fewer Criminal Law events than other age groups.81 As with credit and debt events, participants aged 15 to 24 also experienced a relatively high rate of criminal law events.

Figure 7.3: % Experiencing Criminal Law Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Criminal Law events tended to be unresolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Criminal Law events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.


Detention





Table 7.5: Detention related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002
Type of legal event
No.
%
%
N
Problem accessing legal advice or assistance
0
0
0
3
Problem accessing medical treatment
0
0
0
3
Serious threats to personal safety
0
0
0
3
Harassment/abuse by staff
0
0
0
3
Problem with parole or release
0
0
0
3

Only 3 participants indicated that they had been involuntarily detained in the last 12 months. None of these participants experienced any of the above events while in detention.


Domestic Violence



Table 7.6: Domestic violence related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Victim of physical/verbal abuse or threats by a family member
5
1.6
1.6
306
Victim of physical/verbal abuse or threats by a household member (not a family member)
2
0.7
0.7
306
Respondent to domestic violence/AVO application*
2
N/A
N/A
N/A

Notes: * This legal event was not included in the original list of legal events, but was identified as an ‘other problem’ by one participant and later coded into this event group. This event type has now been added to the survey instrument.

The relatively small number of domestic violence events reported did not allow for detailed analysis of this event type. As noted in chapter 2, one reason for the low number of instances of domestic violence may be a general reluctance to report this event. For example, the 1998 Keys Young Report for the Office of the Status of Women highlighted the fact that women experiencing domestic violence face major barriers that inhibit women from telling anyone about the abuse, let alone domestic violence crisis services or the police.82

Domestic Violence events tended to be resolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Domestic Violence events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.



Education





Table 7.7: Education related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Child/young person bullied/harassed at school (parent)
18
5.9
17.1
105
Unfair exclusion/suspension (parent)
3
1
2.9
105
Problem with HECS/other fees (parent)
3
1
2.9
105
Problem with HECS/other fees (self)
1
0.3
2.1
47
Bullied/harassed at school (self)
1
0.3
2.1
47
Unfair exclusion/suspension (self)
0
0
0
47

Two different groups of participants were asked these questions:
The relatively high rate of bullying/harassment of participants’ children is noteworthy.

No significant relationships were found between any demographic factors and whether participants experienced one or more Education events.

Education events fell into the ‘middle’ group in terms of both likelihood of resolution and satisfaction.



Employment



Table 7.8: Employment related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Dispute over terms and conditions of employment
16
5.2
10.7
149
Harassment, bullying or mistreatment at work
13
4.2
8.7
149
Unfair termination of employment
3
1
2
149
Work-related discrimination
3
1
2
149

Notes: n=149 for all. The 24 work-related injuries are categorised under Personal Injury.83

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Employment events was Indigenous status. Participants who were Indigenous Australians were more likely to experience Employment related legal events than other participants.84

Employment events tended to be unresolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Employment events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.



Family Law and Relationships



Table 7.9: Family law and relationships legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Divorce/separation
9
2.9
3.9
232
Dispute over matrimonial property
6
2
2.6
232
Problem about residence or contactarrangements for children
15
4.9
14.9
101*
Problem about receipt or payment of child support
12
3.9
12
100
Problem about fostering, adoption or legal guardianship of children
4
1.3
4
100
Child taken into care/placed on the child protection register
1
0.3
1
100

Note: One grandparent identified access to her grandchildren as an “Other” issue.

Age and Indigenous status were both found to be related to whether participants experienced one or more Family Law events.

Participants aged 25 to 44 experienced significantly more Family Law related events than those in other age groups. Those aged 15 to 24 and over 65 tended to experience fewer Family Law related legal events.85

Figure 7.4: % Experiencing Family Law Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Indigenous Australian participants were also more likely to experience Family Law related events than those of other backgrounds.86

Family Law events tended to be unresolved. However, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Family Law events fell into the ‘middle group’ in terms of satisfaction with outcome.



Government



Table 7.10: Government related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Problem related to government benefit/pension
14
4.6
8.3
169
Problem accessing Government disability/aged care services or non financial assistance (as carerfor 3rd party)
7
2.3
12.1
58
Dispute about income tax assessment or debt
5
1.6
1.6
306
Problem accessing Government disability/aged care services or non financial assistance (self)
4
1.3
4.2
95
Fines (not traffic related) that you have challenged or tried to challenge
4
1.3
1.3
306
Problem with Freedom of Information request
3
1
1
306
Immigration problem
2
0.7
0.7
306
Problem with local council*
1
N/A
N/A
N/A

Notes: * This legal event was not included in the original list of legal events, but was identified as an ‘other problem’ by one participant and later coded into this event group. This event type has now been added to the survey instrument.

Age and education level were both found to be related to whether participants experienced one or more Government events.

Participants whose highest level of education was Year 10 experienced significantly less Government events than those with other educational levels, while those with no completed education tended to experience fewer. Conversely, participants with university qualifications were significantly more likely to experience Government related events, and those with a Trade Certificate or Diploma also tended to experience Government events.87

Figure 7.5: % Experiencing Government Events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Participants aged 35 to 44 tended to experience more Government related legal events than other age groups, while those over 55 tended to experience fewer.88

Government events tended to be unresolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Government events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.



Health





Table 7.11: Health related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Problem accessing non-government disability/aged care services (self)
4
1.3
4.2
95
Other disability/aged care problems (self)
2
0.7
2.1
95
Involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation (self)
0
0
0
5
Problems with care after release from psychiatric hospital (self)
0
0
0
5
Involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation (as carer for 3rd party)
2
0.7
3.4
58
Problem related to legal guardianship (as carer for 3rd party)
1
0.3
1.7
58
Other disability/aged care problem (as carer for 3rd party)
1
0.3
1.7
58

Health related events focus on chronic or long-term health issues. The group includes both the participant’s own problems, and problems experienced as the carer for an elderly or disabled person.

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Health related events was disability status. Participants with a disability were more likely to experience Health related issues than other participants.89

Health events ranked in the ‘middle’ group in terms of likelihood of resolution. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Health events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.



Housing



Table 7.12: Housing related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Dispute with neighbours
39
12.7
12.7
306
Bought or sold a property
30
9.8
9.8
306
Homelessness
9
2.9
2.9
306
Problems relating to tenancy
8
2.6
11.1
72
Problems related to home ownership
4
1.3
1.9
210
Problem related to nursing home residence (as carer for 3rd party)
1
0.3
1.7
58
Problem related to nursing home residence (self)
0
0
0
95
Problem relating to Strata/Company Title Property
0
0
0
31
Problem relating to boarding house
0
0
0
0
Problem relating to caravan park/home estate
0
0
0
9

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Housing events was Indigenous status. Indigenous Australians were more likely to experience Housing related events than other participants.90

Housing events tended to be resolved and were in the ‘middle’ group in terms of likelihood of satisfaction.



Human Rights



Table 7.13: Human rights related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Discrimination by a financial organisation
2
0.7
0.7
306
Discrimination by a service supplier
2
0.7
0.7
306
Discrimination by a government body
2
0.7
0.7
306
Discrimination by private club
1
0.3
0.3
306
Perceived discrimination
5
1.6
1.6
*

Notes: This event group does not include discrimination relating to employment. The three identified work related discrimination cases have been categorised under Employment events.

Note that the largest number of discrimination issues are listed under the category of ‘perceived discrimination’. On examining the details of responses relating to this question, it became clear that a number of cases of discrimination were not based on legally recognised categories of discrimination. This problem emphasises the difficulty in asking people with no legal qualifications to make judgments about whether they have suffered a particular legal wrong.91

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Human Rights events was disability status. Participants with a disability were more likely to experience Human Rights related events than those who did not have a disability.92

Human Rights events were in the ‘middle’ group of event types in terms of resolution. However, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Human Rights events tended to be dissatisfied with the outcome.



Motor Vehicles



Table 7.14: Motor vehicle related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Car accident (property damage)
16
5.2
5.2
306
Other traffic fine you have tried to challenge
9
2.9
2.9
306
Injury caused by car accident
4
1.3
1.3
306
Traffic fine leading to loss of license
4
1.3
1.3
306

No significant relationships were found between any demographic factors and whether participants experienced one or more Motor Vehicle events.

Motor vehicle events tended to be resolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Motor Vehicle events tended to be satisfied with the outcome.



Personal Injury



Table 7.15: Personal injury related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Work related injury
24
7.8
7.8
306
Other
11
3.6
3.6
306

Note: Injuries resulting from car accidents have been classified under Motor Vehicle events. Work related injuries will be categorised as employment related events for the main survey.

No significant relationships were found between any demographic factors and whether participants experienced one or more Personal Injury events.

Personal Injury events tended to be unresolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Personal Injury events tended to be satisfied with the outcome.



Wills and Estates





Table 7.16: Wills and Estates related legal events, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002
Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Made/altered a will (or tried to make/alter a will)
30
9.8
9.8
306
Executor of a deceased estate
9
2.9
2.9
306
Been involved in executing a power of attorney
9
2.9
2.9
306
Been involved in a dispute over a will or estate
5
1.6
1.6
306

The only significant relationship found between any demographic factor and whether participants experienced one or more Wills and Estates events was education level. Participants whose highest educational qualification was Year 10 tended to experience fewer Wills and Estates events than those with other educational levels.

Wills and Estates events tended to be resolved. Furthermore, irrespective of whether the event was resolved or not, participants experiencing Wills and Estates events tended to be satisfied with the outcome.



Other



Table 7.17: Other legal events (uncategorised), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of legal event
No.
%
Relevant %
N
Other (Uncategorised)
2
0.9
0.09
306

Only two events were unable to be classified into a legal event group. In both events, the participant did not provide any details of the nature of the event.



Ch 8. Summary of results


Nature of legal events experienced

The 306 survey participants experienced a total of 572 individual legal events in the twelve months prior to the survey, at an average of 1.8 events per participant. One hundred and thirty-one participants (43 per cent) experienced two or more legal events.

Legal events were grouped into 17 categories. The most common types of events experienced were Housing (16 per cent of all events) Criminal Law (12 per cent) and Wills and Estates (9 per cent) events. The largest proportions of survey participants (respectively, 25 per cent for Housing, 19 per cent for Criminal Law and 16 per cent for Wills and Estates) also experienced these three types of events.

The individual event types that were most commonly experienced were a dispute with neighbours (13 per cent of all participants), having something stolen or vandalised (11 per cent), making or altering a will (10 per cent) and buying or selling a property (10 per cent).

Age, disability and income all influenced whether participants experienced any legal events. Participants without a disability, participants earning under $200 per week and participants aged 65 and over were significantly less likely to experience any legal events than other participants.



How participants dealt with legal events


Participants sought outside assistance in 52 per cent of all events examined. This percentage rose to 60 per cent for the events that participants considered the most important, or were the only event experienced. The decision to seek help was not statistically related to either the type of event that was experienced or any particular demographic factor.

In 49 per cent of events where help was not sought (23 per cent of all events) the participant dealt with the event themselves. In the remaining 51 per cent of events where help was not sought (25 per cent of all events) participants did nothing at all. The main reasons given for doing nothing were:


Those participants who did seek help approached a large range of sources, the two most popular being a private barrister or solicitor (32 per cent) or a friend or relative (27 per cent). Participants sought help from a legal source in 41 per cent of events where help was sought.

Most participants (60 per cent) sought help from only one source. However, in a quarter of events participants sought help from two sources, and the maximum number of places approached for help was eight.

While the vast majority (85 per cent) of participants wanted specific assistance or advice to ‘fix the problem’, only 26 per cent specified that they wanted legal representation. In fact, the only event type where a majority of participants sought legal representation was Family Law (68 per cent of events where help sought). A large number of participants sought information as well as, or instead of, advice or assistance. Over half (51 per cent) of the survey participants wanted to know where to go for help, and 65 per cent wanted to know more about the law.

Participants who sought help received a range of services and in many cases, several types of assistance. In 23 per cent of events participants received information about the law and in 19 per cent of events participants received information about available services. Advice was provided in 64 per cent of events, and active assistance in 38 per cent of events. In seven per cent of events where help was sought, the participant considered that they received no assistance at all.

Participants were satisfied with the assistance received in 69 per cent of events, dissatisfied in 23 per cent and neither satisfied nor dissatisfied in eight per cent. Satisfaction with assistance was strongly related to both satisfaction with outcome, and to the participant considering that the legal event was either resolved or in the process of resolution. Participants born in an English speaking country were significantly more likely to be satisfied with assistance received (72 per cent) than those born in a non-English speaking country (10 per cent).



Barriers experienced by participants


Participants experienced some sort of problem getting assistance in 51 per cent of events. The most significant problems experienced related directly to the relative isolation of Bega Valley and the relatively limited number of local services available. These problems included:
Eight per cent of participants needed some form of special assistance associated with a disability or other personal circumstances.

Distance can also be a barrier to getting help in regional and rural areas. Where help was sought, survey participants needed to travel:


In 32 per cent of events where help was sought the participant did not need to travel.

Although the proportion of residents born in a non-English speaking country is relatively low in the Bega Valley, seven participants indicated that they preferred to speak in a language other than English. This represents almost half of all participants born in a non-English speaking country. A similar result in an area with a higher proportion of migrants would have significant implications for service delivery in terms of availability of translators and translated materials.



Outcomes and Perceptions


Participants considered that 57 per cent of events were resolved, 11 per cent in the process of resolution and 32 per cent not resolved.

Legal events can be classified into three groups based on their likelihood of being resolved. The likelihood for events to be resolved is the same within each group, but differs between groups.


Seeking help had no effect on whether the event was resolved. Events were significantly more likely to be resolved where the participant had dealt with the event themselves (70 per cent resolved) than if they sought help (56 per cent resolved) or did nothing (47 per cent resolved).

For events of the same type and handled the same way, Indigenous Australian participants were significantly less likely to have their events resolved than other participants.

Participants were satisfied with the outcome in 56 per cent of events, dissatisfied in 27 per cent and neither satisfied nor dissatisfied in the remaining 17 per cent. As with satisfaction with assistance, overall satisfaction was strongly related to whether the event was considered to be resolved, with participants being significantly more satisfied when the event was resolved (81 per cent satisfied) and significantly less satisfied when it was not yet resolved (13 per cent satisfied).

The strongest relationship appears to be between satisfaction and resolution of the event. In situations where a group of participants were significantly more satisfied, it was almost always true that that group had also experienced a higher rate of resolution of events. The exception to this general pattern was participants born in a non-English speaking country, who were satisfied in only 18 per cent of events, despite having 47 per cent of events resolved. A participant born in an English speaking country was nine times more likely to be satisfied with the outcome of an event than a participant born in a non-English speaking country.

This conclusion was supported by the results of regression analysis, where we controlled for the effect of resolution. All other things being equal, a participant who considered the matter to be resolved was 17 times more likely to be satisfied than a participant who did not consider the event to be resolved yet.

Further, participants who dealt with the event themselves were significantly (more than two times) more likely to be satisfied with the outcome than those who sought help or did nothing. Seeking help did not appear to have any influence on satisfaction with outcome.

Education level was also related to satisfaction. Participants with year 10, year 12 or a Certificate/Diploma were more satisfied than participants with university qualifications or no qualifications. Participants with university qualifications were the least likely to be satisfied.

Event types fell into three broad categories regarding participants’ level of satisfaction with outcome. Satisfaction was the same within categories, but differed between categories.



Influence of demographic factors


Gender

No relationship was found between gender and experiencing any particular event type, or experiencing one or more legal events.

In relation to how events were handled, male participants were significantly more likely than female participants to view an event as not serious enough to warrant taking any action (28 per cent of male participants; 15 per cent female participants).

Where assistance was sought, female participants were more likely to have the event resolved and to be satisfied than male participants. However, this result says more about the relationship between resolution and satisfaction than it does about male and female participants, as gender was not a relevant factor in the final model for either resolution or satisfaction.

Age

The age of participants affected the nature of legal events they experienced. Event types such as Consumer and Family Law followed clear life cycle patterns, peaking in mid life with a relatively low incidence of events in younger and older participants. Criminal Law, Credit and Debt and Government legal events were all experienced at higher levels in younger participants, dropped off for 25 to 34-year-olds, rose again and peaked mid life, then tailed off for older participants.

The age of participants also influenced whether they experienced any legal events at all. Participants 65 and over were the least likely to experience legal events, and those 45 to 54 the most likely. When the effect of other factors is controlled for, the likelihood of experiencing any legal events was ranked in the following order (lowest to highest): 65+, 55 to 64, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 15 to 24, and 45 to 54. Thus young participants were at a relatively high risk of experiencing legal events despite their lack of financial resources.

No significant relationships were found between the age of participants and how events were handled. There was also no relationship between age and legal events being resolved. While a weak relationship was initially found between age and satisfaction, the final model for satisfaction did not support this.

Income

No relationship was found between the weekly income of participants and experiencing any particular event type. However, those earning under $200 per week were less likely to experience any legal events than those earning $200 or more per week.

Participants earning $500 or more were less likely to use formal legal proceedings to resolve legal events than other participants.

No relationships were found between income and either resolution or satisfaction.

Country of birth

No relationship was found between country of birth and experiencing any particular event type, or experiencing one or more legal events.

Participants born in a non-English speaking country were significantly more likely than participants born in an English speaking country to not seek help because they considered an event not serious enough (57 per cent compared to 20 per cent). This group was also more likely to be dissatisfied with the assistance provided where they sought assistance.

There was no relationship found between country of birth and resolution of events, however, participants born in a non-English speaking country were nine times more likely to be dissatisfied with the outcome of their events. Given that they did not experience a higher proportion of unresolved events than other groups, the explanation for their dissatisfaction must lie elsewhere. Factors such as a lack of understanding of the Australian legal system and the lack of specialist migrant services in the Bega Valley may contribute to this dissatisfaction.

Indigenous status

Despite the small number of Indigenous participants, there were still some statistically significant results in relation to this group.93 While there was no relationship between Indigenous status and experiencing one or more legal events, Indigenous Australians were significantly more likely to experience Employment, Family Law and Housing related legal events than other participants.

Indigenous Australians were significantly more likely not to seek help because they dealt with events themselves than other participants. Events experienced by Indigenous Australians were significantly more likely to be unresolved, whether outside help was sought or not. The fact that they were also significantly more likely to be dissatisfied than other participants was affected by this lack of resolution, and Indigenous status therefore does not figure in the final satisfaction model.

Education

There was no relationship between educational level and experiencing one or more legal events, but there was a relationship with event type. Participants whose highest level of formal education was Year 10 were significantly less likely to experience Government related legal events, and those with university qualifications were significantly more likely to experience Government related events than other participants.

No relationship was found between education level and either how an event was handled or whether it was resolved.

Participants’ satisfaction with the outcome of events was related to their educational level. Education categories can be classified into three groups based on their level of satisfaction. Satisfaction is the same within groups, but differs between groups.


Disability

Participants with a disability were three times more likely to experience legal events than those without a disability, and were specifically more likely to experience Human Rights and Health related legal events than other participants.

Participants with a disability were significantly less likely than participants without a disability not to seek help because they considered the event not serious enough. In the case of the event nominated as most important, participants with a disability were also significantly less likely to deal with the event themselves than participants without a disability.

No relationship was found between disability and either satisfaction or resolution.



Appendix A


Pilot survey specifications, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Sample

Table A1: Sample populations

Group
Description
N
Comments
A
All survey participants
306
B
All legal events
572
All legal events identified.
C
Examined legal events
398
Maximum 3 events per participant subject for further analysis. 418 potential legal events identified; due to coding error participants were not asked to provide further information in 20 cases.
D
Examined legal events where help sought
207
Subset of C
E
Examined legal events where help not sought
191
Subset of C
F
Examined legal events where dealt with the event themselves
93
Subset of E
G
Examined legal events where did nothing
98
Subset of E
H
Most important/only legal event – total
198
Subset of C. 203 potential legal events identified; due to coding error participants were not asked to provide further information in 5 cases.
I
Most important/only legal event – help sought
119
Subset of D
J
Most important/only legal event – help not sought
79
Subset of E
K
Most important/only legal event – handled it themselves
39
Subset of J
L
Most important/only legal event – did nothing
40
Subset of J

Table A2: Demographic characteristics

Demographic characteristicSub-category
GenderFemale
Male
Age15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 or older
IncomeUnder $200/week
$200 to $499/week
$500 and over/week
BirthplaceNo
(English speaking country)Yes
Indigenous AustralianNo
Yes
EducationDid not finish school
Year 10 or equivalent
Year 12 or equivalent
Certificate/Diploma
University degree or higher
Chronic Conditions/DisabilitiesNo
Yes

Table A3: Demographic sample populations
Characteristic
A
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
Female
158
207
113
94
48
46
101
66
35
Male
148
191
94
97
45
52
97
53
44
Indigenous Australian
8
18
7
11
9
2
6
4
2
Non-Indigenous
298
380
200
180
84
96
192
115
77
English speaking country
290
381
197
184
89
95
189
114
75
Born in non-English
16
17
10
7
4
3
9
5
4
speaking country
Person with a disability
95
135
66
69
33
36
67
40
27
Person without a disability
211
263
141
122
60
62
131
79
52
Income under $200
58
71
38
33
14
19
31
21
10
Income $200 to $499
115
152
77
75
32
43
80
43
37
Income $500 or over
100
145
75
70
40
30
70
45
25
Missing
33
30
17
13
7
6
17
10
7
Aged 15 to 24
30
41
16
25
13
12
20
7
13
Aged 25 to 34
31
46
28
18
6
12
20
16
4
Aged 35 to 44
67
125
65
60
31
29
54
32
22
Aged 45 to 54
59
93
46
47
22
25
47
28
19
Aged 55 to 64
52
56
32
24
11
13
31
20
11
Aged 65 or over
57
30
16
14
7
7
20
12
8
Missing
10
7
4
3
3
0
6
4
2
Did not/yet to finish school
41
49
28
21
10
11
25
18
7
Year 10 or equivalent
98
120
54
66
31
35
61
30
31
Year 12 or equivalent
58
69
32
37
20
17
38
22
16
Certificate/Diploma
53
64
36
28
11
17
34
20
14
University degree or higher
54
94
57
37
21
16
39
29
10
Missing
2
2
0
2
0
2
1
0
1
TOTAL
306
398
207
191
93
98
198
119
79

Notes: See Appendix A, Table A1 for column definitions.

Table A4: Legal event classification table

GroupIndividual legal events
BusinessProblem as owner of a small business
Problem as landlord
ConsumerSale of goods/services problem
Problem with insurance
Problem with superannuation
Dispute with bank*
Credit and DebtProblem over repayment of money owed to you
Problem paying a loan, bill or debt
Dispute about credit reference rating
Problem with actual or possible bankruptcy
Problem as guarantor for someone else
Criminal LawProperty stolen or vandalised
Victim of assault
Unfair treatment by police
Police failing to investigate a crime
Problem with bail or remand
Charged with a criminal offence
DetentionProblem accessing legal advice or assistance
Problem accessing medical treatment
Serious threats to personal safety
Harassment/abuse by staff
Problem with parole or release
DomesticVictim of physical/verbal abuse or threats by a family member
ViolenceVictim of physical/verbal abuse/threats by household member (non family)
Respondent to domestic violence/AVO application*
EducationChild/young person bullied/harassed at school (parent)
Unfair exclusion/suspension (parent)
Problem with HECS/course fees (parent)
Child/young person bullied/harassed at school (self)
Unfair exclusion/suspension (self)
Problem with HECS/course fees (self)
EmploymentDispute over terms and conditions of employment
Harassment, bullying or mistreatment at work
Unfair termination of employment
Work related discrimination
Family Law &Divorce/separation
RelationshipsDispute over matrimonial property
Problem about residence or contact arrangements for children
Problem about receipt or payment of child support
Problem about fostering, adoption or legal guardianship of children
Child taken into care/placed on child protection register
GovernmentProblem related to government benefit/pension
Problem accessing government disability/aged care services or non financial assistance (as carer for 3rd party)
Dispute about income tax assessment or debt
Problem accessing government disability/aged care services or non financial assistance (self)
Fines (not traffic related) that you have challenged or tried to challenge
Problem with Freedom of Information request
Immigration problem
Problem with local council*
HealthProblem accessing non government disability/aged care services (self)
Involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation (self)
Problem with care after release from psychiatric hospital (self)
Other disability/aged care problem (self)
Involuntary psychiatric hospitalisation (as carer for 3rd party)
Problem related to legal guardianship (as carer for 3rd party)
Other disability/aged care problem (as carer for 3rd party)
HousingDispute with neighbours
Bought or sold a property
Homelessness
Problems related to tenancy
Problems related to home ownership
Problems related to strata/company title property
Problems related to caravan park/home estate
Problems relating to boarding house
Problems related to nursing home residence (self)
Problems related to nursing home residence (as carer for 3rd party)
Human RightsDiscrimination by a financial organisation
Discrimination by a service supplier
Discrimination by a government body
Discrimination by a private club
Perceived discrimination
Motor VehicleCar accident (property damage)
Injury caused by car accident
Traffic fine leading to loss of licence
Other traffic fine you have tried to challenge
Personal InjuryWork related injury
Other personal injury
Wills andMade/altered a will (or tried to make/alter a will)
EstatesExecutor of deceased estate
Been involved in executing a power of attorney
Been involved in a dispute about a will or estate
Other(uncategorised)

Notes: *These legal events were not included in the original list, but arose as ‘other’ events and were later classified. They have now been added to the survey instrument.

Table A5: Variable definitions for logistic regression analysis

VariableValuesDescription
Event typeBusinessSee Appendix A Table A4 for
Consumerbreakdown of individual legal
Credit and Debtevent types
Criminal
Domestic Violence
Detention
Education
Employment
Family
Government
Health
Housing
Human Rights
Motor Vehicle
Personal Injury
Wills and Estates
How HandledSought HelpSought help = yes
Dealt with themselvesSought help = no and
Dealt with self = yes
Did nothingSought help = no and
Dealt with self = no
ResolvedResolvedEvent resolved
Not resolvedEvent not resolved or
Event in the process of resolution
SatisfactionSatisfiedParticipant satisfied with outcome
Not satisfiedParticipant dissatisfied with
outcome or
Participant neither satisfied nor
dissatisfied with outcome



Appendix B


Statistical Tables, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Table B1: Total number of legal events per participant, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Legal events No.
Participants No.
Participants %
Cumulative %
0
103
33.7
33.7
1
72
23.5
57.2
2
47
15.4
72.5
3
28
9.2
81.7
4
19
6.2
87.9
5
15
4.9
92.8
6
7
2.3
95.1
7
7
2.3
97.4
8
2
0.7
98
9
3
1
99
10
0
0
99
11
1
0.3
99.3
12
0
0
99.3
13
2
0.7
100
TOTAL
306
100

Table B2: Whether help sought by importance of the event, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002
All Events
Most Important/Only Event
Action
No.
%
No.
%
Didn’t seek help
191
48
79
39.9
Sought help
207
52
119
60.1
TOTAL
398
100
198
100

Table B3: Whether help sought by legal event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All Events Most Important/Only Event

Cases
Help sought
Cases
Help sought
Type of Legal Event
No.
%
No.
%
Business
16
56.3
6
66.7
Consumer
31
51.6
13
61.5
Credit and Debt
33
36.4
11
54.5
Criminal Law
27
63
16
75
Domestic Violence
6
66.7
5
80
Education
20
70
12
66.7
Employment
25
48
10
70
Family Law
28
67.9
14
78.6
Government
27
44.4
14
42.9
Health
8
50
3
66.7
Housing
78
50
38
60.5
Human Rights
6
33.3
3
66.7
Motor Vehicles
24
33.3
14
50
Personal Injury
27
44.4
17
35.3
Wills and Estates
41
63.4
21
57.1
Other (Uncategorised)
1
100
1
100
ALL EVENTS
398
52
198
60.1

Notes: Includes only events selected for further analysis – see Appendix A, Table A1. Note that the low number of reported Domestic Violence events may be attributable to the under-reporting of this event type: see Chapter 7.

Table B4: Reasons why didn’t seek help, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events where help not sought Most important/only event where help not sought

All  Reasons*
Most important reason
All reasons*
Most important reason
Reason
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
Dealt with it myself
93
50.8
74
40.4
39
51.3
32
42.1
Problem not serious enough
41
22.4
32
17.5
17
22.4
16
21.1
Didn’t know where/how to get help
13
7.1
8
4.4
4
5.3
4
5.3
Thought it would not make any difference
12
6.6
10
5.5
4
5.3
4
5.3
Couldn’t afford it
11
6
6
3.3
7
9.2
4
5.3
Problem was resolved before I got around to seeking help
10
5.5
10
5.5
3
3.9
3
3.9
Too busy
7
3.8
7
3.8
4
5.3
4
5.3
Waiting it out/hoping it would resolve itself
8
4.4
7
3.8
1
1.3
0
0
Bigger problems to deal with
4
2.2
3
1.6
1
1.3
0
0
Didn’t trust anybody to help
5
2.7
3
1.6
2
2.6
2
2.6
Afraid/thought it would make things worse
5
2.7
5
2.7
2
2.6
2
2.6
Thought it was my fault
3
1.6
3
1.6
1
1.3
1
1.3
Thought it would take too long
3
1.6
1
0.5
2
2.6
1
1.3
Couldn’t get to advice service
3
1.6
3
1.6
2
2.6
2
2.6
Didn’t realise how serious it was
2
1.1
1
0.5
2
2.6
1
1.3
Other reason
11
6
10
5.5
0
0
0
0

Notes: All Events: n=183; No. missing=8; Most Important Event: n=76 No. missing=3. *Multiple responses acceptable.

Table B5: Events where help not sought because considered not serious enough, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events where help Most Important/Only event


not sought where help not sought
All No.
Not serious enough
Not serious enough
All No.
Not serious enough
Not serious enough
Type of Legal Event
No.
No.
%
No.
No.
%
Business
7
3
42.9
2
0
0
Consumer
15
1
6.7
5
0
0
Credit and Debt
21
4
19
5
0
0
Criminal Law
10
4
40
4
1
25
Domestic Violence
2
1
50
1
1
100
Education
6
2
33.3
4
1
25
Employment
13
1
7.7
3
0
0
Family Law and Relationships
9
0
0
3
0
0
Government
15
2
13.3
8
1
12.5
Health
4
0
0
1
0
0
Housing
39
10
25.5
15
5
33.3
Human Rights
4
1
25
1
0
0
Motor Vehicles
16
6
37.5
7
2
28.6
Personal Injury
15
2
13.3
11
2
18.2
Wills and Estates
15
4
26.7
9
4
44.4
ALL EVENTS
191
41
21.5
79
17
21.5


Notes: Only includes events where help not sought. Note that the low number of reported Domestic Violence events may be attributable to the under-reporting of this event type: see Chapter 7.

Table B6: Event type by whether dealt with event themselves or did nothing, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


All events where help Most Important/Only event
not sought where help not sought
Did Nothing
Dealt with themselves
Did nothing
Dealt with themselves
Type of Legal Event
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
Business
5
71.4
2
28.6
2
100
0
0
Consumer
7
46.7
8
53.3
3
60
2
40
Credit and Debt
13
61.9
8
38.1
2
40
3
60
Criminal Law
7
70
3
30
2
50
2
50
Domestic Violence
1
50
1
50
1
100
0
0
Education
3
50
3
50
2
50
2
50
Employment
6
46.2
7
53.8
2
66.7
1
33.3
Family Law and Relationships
6
66.7
3
33.3
2
66.7
1
33.3
Government
4
26.7
11
73.3
2
25
6
75
Health
4
100
0
0
1
100
0
0
Housing
15
38.5
24
61.5
6
40
9
60
Human Rights
3
75
1
25
1
100
0
0
Motor Vehicles
11
68.7
5
31.3
4
57.1
3
42.9
Personal Injury
7
46.7
8
53.3
6
54.5
5
45.5
Wills and Estates
6
40
9
60
4
44.4
5
55.6
ALL EVENTS
98
51.3
93
48.7
40
50.6
39
49.4

Notes: Only includes events where help not sought. Note that the low number of reported Domestic Violence events may be attributable to the under-reporting of this event type: see Chapter 7.

Table B7: Reasons why participants did nothing at all, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events where help Most Important/Only event


not sought where help not sought
All reasons*
Most important reason
All reasons* 
Most important reason
Reason
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
Not serious enough
26
28.9
24
26.7
13
35.1
12
32.4
Resolved before I got
9
10
9
10
3
8.1
3
8.1
around to seeking help
Had bigger problems to deal with
1
1.1
1
1.1
0
0
0
0
Too busy
7
7.8
7
7.8
4
10.8
4
10.8
Didn’t know where to go to get help
7
7.8
7
7.8
3
8.1
3
8.1
Didn’t trust anyone
3
3.3
3
3.3
2
5.4
2
5.4
Thought it was my fault
2
2.2
2
2.2
1
2.7
1
2.7
Thought it would take too long
1
1.1
1
1.1
1
2.7
1
2.7
Couldn’t afford it
9
10
6
6.7
6
16.2
4
10.8
Couldn’t get to advice service
3
3.3
3
3.3
2
5.4
2
5.4
Afraid/thought it would make things worse
4
4.4
4
4.4
1
2.7
1
2.7
Thought it wouldn’t make any difference
10
11.1
8
8.9
4
10.8
4
10.8
Waiting it out
7
7.8
7
7.8
0
0
0
0
Other reason
8
8.9
8
8.9
0
0
0
0

Notes: All events n=90 No. missing=8; Most Important Event n=37 No. missing=3. Includes only events where participants did nothing. *Multiple responses acceptable.

Table B8: How event handled by event type, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events Most important/only event

Type of Legal Event
Help sought %
Dealt with themselves %
Did nothing %
Help sought %
Dealt with themselves %
Did nothing %
Business
7
3
42.9
2
0
0
Business
56.3
12.5
31.3
66.7
0
33.3
Consumer
51.6
28.5
22.6
61.5
15.4
23.1
Credit and Debt
36.4
24.2
39.4
54.5
27.3
18.2
Criminal Law
63
11.1
25.9
75
12.5
12.5
Domestic Violence
66.7
16.7
16.7
80
0
20
Education
70
15
15
66.7
16.7
16.7
Employment
48
28
24
70
10
20
Family Law
67.9
10.7
21.4
78.6
7.1
14.3
Government
44.4
40.7
14.8
42.9
42.9
14.3
Health
50
0
50
66.7
0
33.3
Housing
50
30.8
19.2
60.5
23.7
15.8
Human Rights
33.3
16.7
50
66.7
0
33.3
Motor Vehicles
33.3
20.8
45.8
50
21.4
28.6
Personal Injury
44.4
29.6
25.9
35.3
29.4
35.3
Wills and Estates
63.4
22
14.6
57.1
23.8
19
Other (Uncategorised)
100
0
0
100
0
0
ALL EVENTS
52
23.4
24.6
60.1
19.7
20.2

Notes: see Appendix B, Table B6 for sample sizes.

Table B9: Number of places approached for help (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Places approached No.
Events No.
Events %
Cumulative %
1
123
59.7
59.7
2
52
25.2
85
3
18
8.7
93.7
4
5
2.4
96.1
5
3
1.5
97.6
6
3
1.5
99
7
1
0.5
99.5
8
1
0.5
100

Notes: n=206 No. missing=1.

Table B10: Problems experienced obtaining assistance (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

No.
%
No problems
100
49
Telephone engaged/on hold too long
56
27.5
Advice not available locally/couldn’t get there
50
24.5
Difficulty getting appointment
43
21.1
Difficulty affording it
33
16.2
Problem with opening hours
31
15.2
No Internet access
17
8.3
Communication problems
13
6.4
Embarrassed
10
4.9
Other problems
8
3.9
Delay
7
3.4

Notes: n=204 No. missing=3; Multiple responses acceptable.

Table B11: Distance travelled to get assistance, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events Most Important event

Distance Travelled
Cumulative %
Cumulative %
Cumulative %
Cumulative %
Didn’t need to travel
32
32
32.5
32.5
Less than 3 kilometres
22.2
54.2
18.8
51.3
4–10 kilometres
12.3
66.5
12.8
64.1
11–20 kilometres
7.9
74.4
7.7
71.8
21–40 kilometres
10.8
85.2
14.5
86.3
41–80 kilometres
3.4
88.7
2.6
88.9
Over 80 kilometres
11.3
100
11.1
100

Notes: n=203 No. missing=4. No significant difference between all event and most important event.

Table B12: Special services required (all events where help sought), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

No.
%
No help required
184
92.5
Home visit/special transport
5
2.5
Help understanding complex information
3
1.5
Wheelchair access
2
1
Financial Assistance
2
1
Place for children to play
1
0.5
Help reading complex information
1
0.5
Access to female advisers
1
0.5
Outreach Service
1
0.5
Other
3
1.5

Notes: n=199 No. missing =8; Multiple responses acceptable.

Table B13: Satisfaction with assistance received , Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

All events Most Important event

Satisfaction
No.
%
No.
%
Satisfied
139
68.8
82
69.5
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
16
7.9
11
9.3
Dissatisfied
47
23.3
25
21.2

Notes: All n=202; No. missing=5; Most Important n=118 No. missing=1. No significant difference between all events and most important event.

Table B14: Whether event resolved by legal event type and how handled (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Resolved %

Type of Legal Event
Sought help
Dealt with themselves
Did nothing
All
Business
100
100
40
80
Consumer
56.3
62.5
0
50
Credit and Debt
50
37.5
38.5
48.5
Criminal Law
31.3
33.3
16.7
28
Domestic Violence
75
0
100
66.7
Education
64.3
33.3
66.7
60
Employment
33.3
57.1
0
32
Family Law and Relationships
26.3
100
33.3
35.7
Government
41.7
54.5
50
48.1
Health
50
N/A
75
62.5
Housing
74.4
75
61.5
72.4
Human Rights
50
100
33.3
50
Motor Vehicles
62.5
100
70
73.9
Personal Injury
41.7
75
83.3
61.5
Wills and Estates
69.2
88.9
50
70.7
Other (uncategorised)
0
N/A
N/A
0
ALL EVENTS
55.6
69.9
46.7
57

Notes: For sample sizes see Appendix B, Table B3 (Help sought and All) and Table B6 (dealt with themselves and did nothing).

Table B15: Satisfaction with outcomes by how handled and event type (all events), Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Type of Legal Event
Sought help
Dealt with themselves
Did nothing
All
Business
100
100
40
80
Business
57.1
50
40
50
Consumer
43.8
37.5
25
39.3
Credit and Debt
58.3
62.5
7.7
39.4
Criminal Law
18.8
66.7
33.3
28
Domestic Violence
50
0
100
50
Education
57.1
33.3
66.7
55
Employment
16.7
85.7
0
32
Family Law and Relationships
36.8
66.7
66.7
46.4
Government
25
63.6
50
44.4
Health
25
75
50
37.5
Housing
74.4
100
57.1
71.4
Human Rights
50
100
33.3
50
Motor Vehicles
87.5
100
60
78.3
Personal Injury
75
87.5
83.3
80.8
Wills and Estates
76.9
100
83.3
82.9
Other (uncategorised)
0
N/A
N/A
0
ALL EVENTS
53.9
72
46.2
56.6

Notes: For sample sizes see Appendix B, Table B3 (Help sought and All) and Table B6 (dealt with themselves and did nothing).


Appendix C


Technical report

This appendix includes a comparison of the demographic characteristics of survey participants with the population of the Bega Valley. It also includes details of the methodology and results of logistic regression analyses.



Presentation of data


Percentages in text are rounded to the nearest whole number. Percentages in tables are rounded to one decimal place. Tables may therefore not always add up to 100 per cent.

Missing values

For some questions, the dataset contains missing values because the participant did not answer a particular question. In most cases, the number of missing values was small (less than ten).

A number of different methodologies can be used to deal with missing values.94 The small number of missing values for most questions precluded any further analysis of potential patterns within missing values.95 Missing values have therefore been excluded in calculating percentages.

Statistical significance

The discussion in the report is predominantly centred on relationships that were found to be statistically significant at least at the 5 per cent level.

Where the report describes relationships as ‘significant’, statistical analysis was conducted using either Fisher’s exact or Pearson’s chi-square probability test. Fisher’s exact test was used for two-by-two contingency tables with small expected frequencies because it does not require large expected frequencies to return statistically valid results. Use of this test enabled the Foundation to identify significant results for both Indigenous Australians and participants born in a non-English speaking country, despite the fact that these groups were relatively small.



Comparison of sample and population


This section compares the demographic profile of the survey participants to that of the population of the Bega Valley Shire. Comparative statistics are drawn from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing.96


Gender and Age


The telephone survey sample was stratified by gender and age. Fifty-two per cent of participants were female (158) and 48 per cent male (148).

Both the mean (average) and median ages (rounded to whole years) of survey participants was 48. This compares to a median age of 42 in the 2001 Census.97

While the sample distribution within age and within gender were individually acceptable, the sample did vary from the 2001 Census, as shown in Table C1 below.

Because of the pilot nature of this study, the Foundation has not adopted a weighting strategy in relation to the data. It is intended that an appropriate weighting strategy will be developed and implemented for the main survey should the need arise.

Table C1: Gender and age of survey participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Female Male

Sample
Census 2001
Difference
Sample
Census 2001
Difference
Age
No.
%
%
%
No.
%
%
%
15–24
15
9.8
11.3
-1.5
15
10.5
12.5
-2
25–34
20
13.1
12
1.1
11
7.7
11.7
-4
35–44
38
24.8
19.1
5.7
29
20.3
17.6
2.7
45–54
25
16.3
18
-1.7
34
23.8
19.4
4.4
55–64
31
20.3
15.2
5.1
21
14.7
16
-1.3
65+
24
15.7
24.3
-8.6
33
23.1
22.9
0.2
Total
153
100
100
143
100
100
Missing
5
5

Notes: See Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002a) Bega Valley Community Profile, Table B03 for Census data


Income


Participants were asked to identify their weekly income from all sources. The five categories were collapsed into three categories for further analysis.

Table C2: Weekly income of survey participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Sample
Census 2001
Weekly income
No.
%
%
Nil or Negative Income
14
5.1
$1 to $199
44
16.1
Subtotal: Under $200
58
21.2
32.2
$200 to $499
115
42.1
40.5
$500 to $999
89
32.6
Over $1000
11
4
Subtotal: $500 and over
100
36.6
27.2
TOTAL
273
100
Notes: n=273 No. missing=33. See Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002a) Bega Valley Community Profile, Table B13 for Census data

Almost 11 per cent of respondents did not answer this question. This is not an unusual outcome in relation to survey questions about income. For example, eight per cent of Bega Valley Residents did not provide details of their income in the 2001 Census.98 As with other missing data, we have excluded missing cases from analysis.

The survey sample exhibits significant variation from the Census figures: people on higher incomes were over sampled; people on lower incomes were under sampled. This is not surprising in a telephone survey, as lower income people are more likely to be without a telephone and/or live in larger households.

Income was found to be strongly associated with age, tending to be lowest amongst younger participants and peaking mid life:99


Figure C1: Weekly income of survey participants by age, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002


Income was also related to gender, education and disability:
These relationships between income and other demographic factors need to be taken into account in examining issues such as whether legal events are experienced. For example there is a relationship between income and experiencing one or more legal events. The interaction between age and income will therefore affect results examining the relationship between age and experiencing legal events.


Indigenous Australians


Three per cent of the sample population (8 participants) indicated that they were Indigenous Australians. In 2001, there were 362 Indigenous Australians (180 males and 182 females) aged 15 or over living in the Bega Valley LGA, representing 1.5 per cent of all persons aged 15 or over living in the Bega Valley LGA.102 Despite the small number of Indigenous participants, the Foundation was still able to identify a number of significant results for this group.103


English speaking background


Survey participants were asked to identify their country of birth. Due to privacy issues associated with the small number of overseas born participants, country of birth data presented in Table 2.4 is classified as English speaking or non-English speaking.104 There was no significant variation from the 2001 Census figures for the Bega Valley LGA. As with Indigenous Australian participants, the Foundation was able to identify a number of significant results for this group despite their small numbers.

Table C3: Birthplace of survey participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Sample
Census 2001
Birthplace
No.
%
%
Australia
265
86.6
88.2
Overseas (English speaking country)
25
8.2
7.6
Overseas (non-English speaking country)
16
5.2
4.2

Notes: n=306 See Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002a) Bega Valley Community Profile, Table B06 for Census data.

Seven survey participants (2 per cent) indicated that they prefer to communicate in a language other than English. Although the number is small, it represents almost half of all participants born in a non-English speaking country.



Education


Participants were asked to indicate the highest educational qualification that they had achieved. The seven categories were then collapsed into five for further analysis.

Table C4: Highest educational level of survey participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Sample
Census 2001
Education level
No.
%
%
Did not finish school/Still at school
41
13.5
*
Year 10/School Certificate/Intermediate
98
32.2
*
Certificate or equivalent
Year 12/Higher School Certificate/Leaving
58
19.1
*
Certificate or equivalent
Trade Certificate or apprenticeship
20
6.6
Other Certificate or Diploma
33
10.9
Subtotal: Certificate/Diploma
53
17.4
28.2
University degree
42
13.8
Post graduate qualifications
12
3.9
Subtotal: University degree or higher
54
17.8
9.7
TOTAL
304
100

Notes: n=304; No. missing =2, See Appendix B Table B2 for all responses. See Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002a) Bega Valley Community Profile Table B23, for Census data. *ABS Figures unavailable as ABS collects highest completed level of school and non-school qualifications separately.

While Census figures are not available for all educational qualifications, it is clear that the telephone survey over-sampled university educated people and under-sampled those with other post-school qualifications.



Disability


Survey participants were asked whether they suffered from any mental or physical disabilities or long term or chronic conditions. Thirty-one per cent of survey participants indicated that they suffered from a disability or long term health problem, with 7 participants experiencing multiple disabilities.

Table C5 shows the types of disabilities experienced by participants. Seventy-one per cent of all participants with disabilities had a physical disability.105 This represents 22 per cent of respondents. Twenty-eight per cent of all participants had a chronic condition106 (9 per cent of respondents).

Table C5: Disability type of survey participants, Bega Valley LGA Pilot Survey, October–November 2002

Disability Type
No.
Disabled %
All %
Physical Disability
67
70.5
21.9
Chronic Condition
27
28.4
8.8
Mental Health Problem
5
5.3
1.6
Sensory Disability
3
3.2
1
Learning Disability
1
1.1
0.3

Notes: Disabled n=95; All n=306; Multiple responses acceptable.

There was a strong relationship between age and disability:107



Logistic Regression Analyses


This Appendix describes the logistic regression procedure employed in this report.


What is modelled in logistic regression?


Logistic regression modelling enables the modeller to quantify the effect of various explanatory variables (for example, demographic factors) on the outcome variable (for example, satisfaction with outcomes) when the outcome variable is discrete, usually binary. The purpose of the modelling is to examine the relationship between the outcome variable and a set of explanatory variables.

In this study, a series of logistic regression analyses were conducted to find the ‘best’ fitting models to describe the relationship under investigation within the constraints of available data. In the process of model building, we followed the guidelines provided by Hosmer and Lemeshow.108

We began with a model containing all relevant variables. Variables that did not contribute to the model with the required significance level (p< .05) were eliminated one by one, from the highest to the lowest. Each subsequent model was compared to the older model using the likelihood ratio test. The estimated coefficients for the remaining variables were also compared to those from the full model. The process continued until all retained variables were statistically significant. Having obtained the main effects model, interactions among the variables in the model were checked. Any interaction term contributing to the model at the traditional level of statistical significance (p <.05) was included. Finally, the adequacy of the model and its fit were assessed before the final ‘best’ fitted model was determined.

The outcome variables examined in this report are:

  1. Experiencing one or more legal events
  2. Seeking help
  3. Resolving legal events
  4. Satisfaction with outcomes.


Regression model for experiencing one or more legal events


First, we examined the relationship between experiencing one or more legal events and demographic characteristics. The following variables were used:
There were 265 cases. There were 41 cases with missing values in one or more of the demographic variables.

The following variables were included in the final model:


These three variables are the significant predictors of experiencing one or more legal events as shown in Table C6.

The Hosmer-Lemeshow test showing a chi-squared value of 5.998 with a significance level of 0.647 indicates a good fit for the model. The prediction table (Table C6.D) showing an overall percentage of 75.8 per cent predicted correctly indicates good accuracy of prediction. Further analysis shows a fairly good estimate for the classification of cases by the model. The l p value of 0.247 indicates a moderately strong reduction in the error of prediction for the model. In addition, the t p value of 0.446 shows that the model reduces the error of classification of cases as having a problem or not by about 45 per cent.

Table C6: Logistic regression model for experiencing one or more legal events

C6.A: Variables in the Equation

B
S.E.
Wald
df
Sig.
Exp(B)
Age
36.472
5
0
Age (15-24)
2.508
0.6
17.459
1
0
12.278
Age (25-34)
1.819
0.558
10.645
1
0.001
6.168
Age (35-44)
2.398
0.482
24.758
1
0
11
Age (45-54)
2.571
0.507
25.74
1
0
13.078
Age (55-64)
1.28
0.461
7.703
1
0.006
3.597
Disability
1.082
0.369
8.593
1
0.003
2.949
Income
9.261
2
0.01
Income (under $200)
-1.246
0.423
8.668
1
0.003
0.288
Income ($200–499)
-0.292
0.355
0.677
1
0.411
0.747
Constant
-0.821
0.417
3.889
1
0.049
0.44

Notes: Reference groups: age (65 and over); no disability, income ($500 and over)

C6.B: Model Summary C6.C: Hosmer and Lemeshow Test

Step
-2 Log likelihood
Cox & Snell R Square
Nagelkerke R Square
Step
Chi-square
df
Sig.
1
280.500(a)
0.178
0.249
1
5.998
8
0.647

(a) Estimation terminated at iteration number 5 because parameter estimates changed by less than .001

C6.D: Classification Table (a)

Observed Predicted
Event
No legal events
One or more legal events
Percentage Correct
Step 1No of EventsNo legal events
38
47
44.7
One or more
17
163
90.6
legal events
Overall Percentage
75.8

Note: l p = [(38+47)-(17+47)]/(38+47) = .247

For t p: n y=0 = 38+47 = 85; n y=1 = 17+163 =180. (2)(85)(180)/265 = 115.47

Then t p = (115.47 – 64)/115.47 = .446



Regression model for seeking help


We examined the relationship between seeking help and demographic characteristics and legal events types. The following variables were used:
There were 359 cases. There were 38 cases with missing values in one or more of the demographic variables.109

There was no association between demographic factors, problem types and seeking help. No individual or collective effect of demographic characteristics or problem types on seeking help was found to be statistically significant.

It was found that education would have a statistically significant effect on seeking help if income was retained in the model. But the effect of income itself on seeking help was not statistically significant. In this case, participants with year 10 or year 12 certificate or equivalent were less likely to seek help compared to others. The reason for the influence of income on the relationship of education and seeking help may be due to the high percentage of missing value for income. Income was found to have about 8 per cent missing value, and this could cause some undesirable effect on other variables, such as education. Hence, income was excluded in the further analysis.

Having removed income from the analysis, other demographic variables and event type show no statistically significant effect on seeking help. In short, the data does not support or imply any association between whether participants sought help or not and demographic factors or the nature of the legal event.



Regression model for resolution of events


We considered the relationship between resolution and demographic characteristics, event types and seeking help. The following variables were used:
There were 387 cases. There were 10 cases with missing values in one or more of the above variables.110

The following variables were included in the final model:


These three variables are the significant predictors of resolution of legal events as shown in Table C7.

The Hosmer-Lemeshow test showing a chi-squared value of 2.466 with a significance level of 0.963 indicates a good fit for the model. The prediction table (Table C7.D), showing an overall percentage of 68.7 per cent predicted correctly, indicates good accuracy of prediction. Further analysis shows a fairly good estimate for the classification of cases by the model. The l p value of 0.271 indicates a moderately strong reduction in the error of prediction for the model. In addition, the t p value of 0.362 shows that the model reduces the error of classification of cases as resolved or not by about 37 per cent.

Table C7: Logistic regression model for resolution

C7.A: Variables in the Equation

B
S.E.
Wald
df
Sig.
Exp(B)
Indigenous
-2.301
0.695
10.955
1
0.001
0.1
Event Type
37.455
14
0.001
Business
1.447
0.662
4.776
1
0.029
4.25
Consumer
-0.116
0.4
0.083
1
0.773
0.891
Credit & debt
-0.048
0.385
0.015
1
0.901
0.953
Criminal Law
-0.791
0.466
2.882
1
0.09
0.453
Domestic Violence
1.026
0.909
1.274
1
0.259
2.789
Education
0.453
0.478
0.896
1
0.344
1.573
Employment
-0.866
0.457
3.585
1
0.058
0.421
Family Law
-0.431
0.414
1.085
1
0.298
0.65
Government
-0.302
0.42
0.518
1
0.472
0.739
Health
0.716
0.748
0.918
1
0.338
2.047
Housing
0.939
0.287
10.734
1
0.001
2.559
Human rights
0.062
0.851
0.005
1
0.942
1.064
Motor vehicle
1.206
0.521
5.348
1
0.021
3.34
Wills and Estates
0.785
0.356
4.866
1
0.027
2.192
How handled
14.04
2
0.001
Did nothing
-0.401
0.274
2.142
1
0.143
0.67
Dealt with it myself
0.888
0.295
9.052
1
0.003
2.43

Notes: Reference groups: event (personal injury) non-Indigenous, how handled (sought help)

C7.B: Model Summary C7.C: Hosmer and Lemeshow Test

Step
-2 Log likelihood
Cox & Snell
R Square
Nagelkerke
R Square
Step
Chi-square
df
Sig.
1
463.509(a)
0.172
0.229
1
2.466
8
963

(a) Estimation terminated at iteration number 5 because parameter estimates changed by less than .001

C7.D: Classification Table (a)

Observed
Predicted Observed
Resolution
Not resolved
Resolved
Percentage Correct
Step 1ResolutionNot resolved
97
69
58.4
Resolved
52
169
76.5
Overall Percentage
68.7



(a) The cut value is .500

Note: For Lambda-p, l p = [(97+69)-(52+69)]/(97+69) = .271

For Tau-p, n y=0 =166; n y=1 =221. (2)(166)(221)/387 = 189.59

Then t p = (189.59 – 121)/189.59 = .362



Regression model for satisfaction


We examined the relationship between satisfaction with outcomes and demographic characteristics, event types, seeking help and resolution. It should be pointed out that by including seeking help and resolution as explanatory variables, the effects of the relationship between demographic characteristics and event nature with seeking help and resolution (as shown above) were brought into the satisfaction model. The following variables were used:
There were 384 cases. There were 13 cases with missing values in one or more of the above variables.112

The following variables were included in the final model:


These five variables are the significant predictors of satisfaction with the outcome of legal events as seen in Table C8.

The Hosmer-Lemeshow test showing a chi-squared value of 9.413 with a significance level of 0.309 indicates a good fit for the model. The prediction table (Table C8.D), showing an overall percentage of 82.3 per cent predicted correctly, indicates good accuracy of prediction. Further analysis (see note below) shows a good estimate for the classification of cases by the model. The l p value of 0.595 indicates a strong reduction in the error of prediction for the model. In addition, the t p value of 0.640 shows that the model reduces the error of classification of cases as satisfied or not with outcomes by 64 per cent.

Table C8: Logistic Regression model for satisfaction with outcomes

C8.A: Variables in the Equation

B
S.E.
Wald
df
Sig.
Exp(B)
Indigenous
-2.301
0.695
10.955
1
0.001
0.1
Event Type
37.455
14
0.001
Business
1.447
0.662
4.776
1
0.029
4.25
Event Resolved
2.845
0.316
81.173
1
0
17.198
English speaking country
2.213
0.816
7.36
1
0.007
9.14
Education
12.881
4
0.012
Did not finish school
0.588
0.498
1.391
1
0.238
1.8
Yr 10 or equivalent
1.351
0.405
11.108
1
0.001
3.861
Yr 12 or equivalent
0.957
0.462
4.294
1
0.038
2.604
Cert/Diploma
1.215
0.484
6.311
1
0.012
3.371
Event type
30.991
14
0.006
Business
-2.143
0.904
5.621
1
0.018
0.117
Consumer
-2.011
0.76
7
1
0.008
0.134
Credit and debt
-2.071
0.752
7.588
1
0.006
0.126
Criminal law
-2.126
0.82
6.722
1
0.01
0.119
Domestic violence
-2.173
1.132
3.687
1
0.055
0.114
Education
-1.245
0.848
2.158
1
0.142
0.288
Employment
-2.086
0.799
6.815
1
0.009
0.124
Family law
-1.044
0.777
1.804
1
0.179
0.352
Government
-1.795
0.777
5.342
1
0.021
0.166
Health
-2.474
1.11
4.97
1
0.026
0.084
Housing
-0.95
0.678
1.962
1
0.161
0.387
Human rights
-1.777
1.256
2.002
1
0.157
0.169
Motor vehicle
-0.096
0.865
0.012
1
0.912
0.909
Wills and Estates
0.071
0.775
0.008
1
0.927
1.074
How handled
7.658
2
0.022
Did nothing
-0.394
0.36
1.2
1
0.273
0.674
Dealt with it myself
0.813
0.372
4.765
1
0.029
2.254
Constant
-3.015
1.052
8.219
1
0.004
0.049

Notes: Reference Group: not resolved, non-English speaking country, education (university degree or higher), event (personal injury) how handled (sought help)

C8.B: Model Summary C7.C: Hosmer and Lemeshow Test

Step
-2 Log likelihood
Cox & Snell
R Square
Nagelkerke R
Square
Step
Chi-
square
df
Sig.
1
328.873(a)
0.402
0.539
1
9.413
8
0.309

(a) Estimation terminated at iteration number 5 because parameter estimates changed by less than .001

C8.D: Classification Table (a)

ObservedPredicted
Satisfaction
Not
Percentage
satisfied
Satisfied
Correct
Step 1SatisfactionNot satisfied
131
37
78
Satisfied
31
185
85.6
Overall Percentage
82.3

(a) The cut value is .500

Note: For Lambda-p, l p = [(131+37)-(31+37)]/(131+37) = .595

For Tau-p, n y=0 =168; n y=1 =216. (2)(168)(216)/384 = 189.0

Then t p = (189.0 – 68)/189.0 = .640



Bibliography


Australian Bureau of Statistics, Community Profile of Bega Valley (A) (Statistical Local Area), Cat no. 145150550, Canberra, 2002a, http://www.abs.gov.au/

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Snapshot of Bega Valley (A) (Statistical Local Area), Canberra, 2002b, http://www.abs.gov.au/

Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS CDATA 2001 CD ROM (Release 2), Canberra, 2002c

Genn, Prof. H., Paths to Justice: What people do and think about going to law, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 1999

Hosmer, D.W. and Lemeshow, S. Applied Logistic Regression (2nd ed) John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000

Hutcheson, John D Jr. and Prather, James E., Interpreting the effects of missing data in survey research, in de Vaus, D. (ed) Social Surveys (Vol IV), Sage Publications, London, pp. 384–92.

Schetzer, L., Mullins, J. and Buanamano, R., Access to Justice and Legal Need: A project to identify legal needs and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW — Background Paper, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, August 2002

Schetzer, L and Henderson, J., Access to Justice & Legal Needs: A project to identify legal needs, pathways and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW. Stage 1, Public Consultations, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, August 2003



Acknowledgments


The following organisations from the Bega Valley assisted the Foundation to locate suitable participants for the face-to-face element survey. We are extremely grateful to everyone who assisted with this task as without them it would have been impossible to complete so many interviews.
The Foundation would like to acknowledge the many staff of the Law and Justice Foundation who assisted in the design and testing of the survey questionnaire, the analysis of the survey data and the editing of this report.

The Foundation is also grateful to Associate Professor Terry Beed, School of Business, University of Sydney and Lisa Webley, School of Law, University of Westminster for commenting on an earlier draft of the report.

We thank those who agreed to be interviewed for their time and cooperation.



Publication details


Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales November 2003

This publication is part of a scholarly, refereed monograph series. Monographs are refereed by at least two appropriate external referees who are independent of the Foundation and any other organisations/authors involved in the publication.

Any opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law and Justice Foundation Board of Governors.

This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in part or in whole for educational purposes as long as proper credit is given to the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

Access to justice and legal needs : a project to identify legal needs, pathways and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW. Stage 2: Quantitative legal needs survey Bega Valley (Pilot).

Bibliography.
ISBN 0 909136 85 8.

1. Justice, Administration of - New South Wales. 2. Law - Economic aspects - New South Wales. 3. Equality before the law - New South Wales. 4. Legal aid - New South Wales. 5. Legal assistance to the poor - New South Wales. I. Schetzer, Louis. II. Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

347.944

Privacy disclaimer: No data which would allow identification of individual survey participants has been used.

Cover photo: courtesy of Tony Miller, Over the Horizon Publications





Ch 1. Introduction


Preface
 Law and Justice Foundation Act 2000 (NSW), s. 5(1).


Ch 2. The pilot survey
 Genn, Prof H. (1999) Paths to Justice: What people do and think about going to law, Hart Publishing, Oxford. The Genn study used a face-to face screening survey of the general population (4,125 individuals) of adults designed to estimate the incidence of justiciable events. This was followed up by further face-to-face interviews with 1,134 individuals indentified as having experienced non-trivial problems.
 Information about legal needs studies conducted across the United States can be found on the website of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association http://www.nlada.org/Civil/Civil_SPAN/SPAN_Library/document_list?topics=000055&list_title=Legal+Needs
 See Chapters 3 and 7 for further discussion of legal event types and Appendix A, Table A4 for a list of all legal event types.
 See Chapter 4 for discussion of these issues.
 See Chapter 5 for discussion of these issues.
 See Chapter 6 for discussion of these issues.
 As noted earlier, the sample was stratified by age groups (see Appendix A, Table A2). However, we were concerned that in the youngest age group (1524) 15 to 17-year-olds may be under-represented.
 Interviewers were also able to arrange appointments to conduct the survey at a different time if the participant wished to do so.
10  See Apprendix C for a comparison of the sample with the Bega Valley LGA population.
11  The percentage of calls where the caller refused to take part in the survey. This includes callers who refused before commencing the survey (780), callers who refused because they were not willing for the call to to be monitored by a supervisor (7) and those who terminated the interview before completion (24). No further analysis has been done of this refusal data.
12  Meetings/premises attended included a youth drop-in centre, local Access Centres, an English as a Second Language Class, a TAFE class, Indigenous housing associations, an Indigenous youth camp and an Indigenous school awards ceremony. Caravan park residents were randomly selected by knocking on doors after informing the Park Manager about the project.
13  Schetzer, L., Mullins, J. and Buonamano, R., Access to Justice and Legal Needs A project to identify legal needs and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW Background Paper, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, August 2002, http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/access/background.html.
14  Schetzer, L. and Henderson, J., Access to Justice & Legal Needs A project to identify legal needs, pathways and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW, Stage 1: Public Consultations, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, August 2003.
15  In order to conduct event based analysis, the dataset was reconfigured to be based around the 398 events selected for additional analysis, with participants demographic data copied across to each individual legal event in the reconfigured dataset.
16  See, for example, Keys Young, Against the Odds, How Women Survive Domestic Violence, Office of the Status of Women, Canberra, 1998.
17  Problem with Local Council, Dispute with Bank/Financial Institution, and Respondent to Domestic Violence Application/Apprehended Violence Order.


Ch 3. The incidence of legal events
18  c2= 40.694 df= 5 p=.000.
19  c2= 6.181, df=2 p=.045.
20  See Appendix C, Table C6 for the technical specifications of the regression model.
21  See Appendix A, Table A4 for a list of all legal event types.
22  See Appendix A, Table A4 for a breakdown of the types of legal events included in each group.
23  Chapter 7 contains descriptions of each event type and details of statistical tests where relevant.
24  These results are valid despite the relatively small number of Indigenous participants. Fishers exact probability test was used, and this test does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
25  Government related legal events include taxation issues, immigration issues, problems with government benefits, freedom of information issues, local council issues, issues related to disability/aged care services and challenged (non traffic) fines.


Ch 4. Deciding what to do
26  See Appendix A, Table A1 for sample specifications.
27  The category most important event includes 72 participants who only experienced one event.
28  c2= 10.334 df=1 p=.001.
29  See also Appendix B, Table B3.
30  The test used, Pearson chi-squared, lacked sensitivity because of small cell numbers.
31  See Appendix C for discussion of the regression model.
32  The test used, Pearson chi-squared, lacked sensitivity because of small cell numbers.
33  Fishers exact p=.035 (2 sided).
34  Fishers exact p=.039 (2 sided).
35  Fishers exact p=.035 (2 sided).
36  The test used, Pearson chi-squared, lacked sensitivity because of small cell numbers.
37  Fishers exact p=.030 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
38  Fishers exact p=.058 (2 sided).
39  For the purposes of this analysis, the 8 events where the participants provided no answer when asked why they did not seek help are grouped with the 90 participants who indicated that they did not deal with the matter themselves.
40  Genn, Prof H. (1999), Paths to Justice: What people do and think about going to law, Hart Publishing, Oxford.
41  The relatively small number of legal events (61) examined in the pilot survey where participants did nothing, and did not say that the reason was either the triviality of the event or the fact that the event was already resolved, prevented any further analysis of this group. It is intended to explore this issue further in the main survey with a larger dataset.
42  Fishers exact p=.030 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
43  The test used, Pearson chi-squared, lacked sensitivity because of small cell numbers.
44  Indigenous Australian participants dealt with the event themselves in 50 per cent of all events compared to 22 per cent of non-Indigenous participants, however, the Pearson chi-square test requires larger frequencies for findings to be valid.


Ch 5. The experience of seeking help
45  Private Solicitors/Barristers, Courts, Legal Aid and Community Legal Centres.
46  One fifth of all survey participants did not provide an answer to this question. Given that the list of options was designed to be exhaustive (it included the catch all something else), it seems clear that this question was quite widely misunderstood. Relationships were found between a number of demographic factors and providing no answer to this question. Women were more likely than men to provide no answer (Fishers exact p=.015). Participants aged 65 or over were more likely than other age groups to provide no answer (c2=20.183 df=5 p=.001). Participants with a disability were more likely than those without a disability to provide no answer (Fishers exact p=.017). The question has been deleted from the main survey.
47  See Table 4.1.
48  See Table 2.1 for list of townships and populations.
49  See Appendix B Table B12 for all responses.
50  Note that participants were asked separately about their satisfaction with the outcome see chapter 6.
51  Fishers exact p=.000 (2 sided). Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
52  c2= 26.434 df=2 p=.000.
53  c2= 26.946 df=3 p=.000.
54  Fishers exact p=.000 (2 sided).


Ch 6. Outcomes
55  An additional question has been included in the updated survey instrument to identify the timing of the occurrence of legal events.
56  c2=21.913 df=6 p=.001.
57  c2=39.690 df=14 p=.000.
58  Fishers exact p=.000 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
59  c2=15.439 df=4 p=.004.
60  Fishers exact p=.046 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
61  Fishers exact p=.003 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
62  Fishers exact: p=.049 (2 sided).
63  c2=6.457 df=2 p=.04.
64  See Appendix C Table C7 for technical specifications of regression model.
65  See Chapter 5 for discussion of satisfaction with assistance.
66  c2=55.385 df=14 p=.000.
67  c2=11.216 df=5 p=.047.
68  Fishers exact p=.002 (2 sided).
69  Fishers exact p=.002 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
70  c2=61.887 df=2 p=.000.
71  c2=13.652 df=2 p=.001.
72  Fishers exact p=.000 (2 sided). Indigenous Australians experienced 18 examined legal events. Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
73  c2=10.329 df=4 p=.035.
74  Fishers exact p=.017 (2 sided).
75  Fishers exact p=.046 (2 sided).
76  c2=165.291 df=4 p=.000.
77  See Appendix C Table C8 for technical specifications of regression model.
78  Sought help/dealt with themselves/did nothing.


Ch 7. Summary of key results for legal event types
79  c2=12.584 df=5 p=.028.
80  c2=16.146 df=5 p=.006.
81  c2=14.396 df=5 p=.013.
82  Keys Young (1998), Against the Odds, How Women Survive Domestic Violence, Office of the Status of Women, Canberra.
83  Work-related injuries will be categorised as employment related events for the main survey.
84  Fishers exact p=.023 (2 sided) Thirty-eigth per cent of Indigenous Australians (3 participants) experienced at least one employment related legal event (compared to 8 per cent of non-Indigenous participants). Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
85  c2=17.584 df=4 p=.001.
86  Fishers exact p=.026 (2 sided) Thirty-eigth per cent of Indigenous Australian participants (3 participants) experienced at least one Family related legal event (compared to 8 per cent of non-Indigenous participants). Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
87  c2 =19.162 df=4 p=.001.
88  c2 = 13.122 df=5 p=.022.
89  Fishers exact p=.012 (2 sided).
90  Fishers exact p=.026 (2 sided). Sixty-three per cent of Indigenous Australian participants (5 participants) experienced at least one Housing related legal event (compared to 24 per cent of non-Indigenous participants). Fishers exact probability test was used because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.
91  The question has now been reworded to refer specifically to discrimination on the basis of gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, marital status, age and religion. Consequently, the event types will also change for the larger survey.
92  Fishers exact p=.012 (2 sided).


Ch 8. Summary of results
93  Fishers exact probablility test could be used on two-by-two tables because it does not require large expected frequencies to be valid.


Appendix A


Appendix B


Appendix C
94  See, for example, Hutcheson, John D Jr. and Prather, James E., Interpreting the effects of missing data in survey research in de Vaus, D. (ed) Social Surveys (Vol IV), Sage Publications, London, 2002, pp.384-92.
95  The exception to this (survey question 68) is discussed in Chapter 5.
96  Australian Bureau of Statistics, Community Profile of Bega Valley (A) (Statistical Local Area), Cat no. 145150550, Canberra, 2002a, http://www.abs.gov.au/ (Bega Valley Community Profile).
97  Australian Bureau of Statistics, Snapshot of Bega Valley (A) (Statistical Local Area), Canberra, November 2002b, http://www.abs.gov.au/ (Bega Valley Snapshot).
98  See Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002a) Bega Valley Community Profile, Table B13.
99  c2=41.436 df=10 p=.000.
100  c2=7.162 df=2 p=.028.
101  c2=25.850 df=8 p=.001.
102  Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS CDATA 2001 CD ROM (Release 2), Canberra, 2002c, Time Series Profile T06.
103  Fishers exact probablility test was used for all two-by-two contingency tables. This test does not require large expected frequencies to return valid results.
104  Overseas countries designated as English speaking countries are Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand.
105  Physical disabilities included arthritis, back problems, neck problems, quadriplegia and other diseases that affected a participants mobility or physical abilities.
106  Chronic conditions included asthma, diabetes and heart problems.
107  c2=32.040 df=5 p=.000.
108  Hosmer, D.W. and Lemeshow, S. (2000), Applied Logistic Regression, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York.
109  The one Other (uncategorised) event was also excluded from the dataset.
110  The one Other (uncategorised) event was also excluded from the dataset.
111  Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied combined with Dissatisfied for regression analysis.
112  The one Other (uncategorised) event was also excluded from the dataset.


Bibliography


Acknowledgments


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