Thu. May 23rd, 2024

These women were unable to access domestic violence support. That’s about to change

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May8,2024
Key Points
  • The NSW government will invest $4.4 million to establish the centre.
  • The centre will operate statewide, including providing outreach in regional and rural NSW.
  • Experts say one in three women from a migrant or refugee background have experienced family or domestic violence.
Women experiencing domestic and family violence from migrant and refugee backgrounds will soon be able to access specialist help in a NSW first.
The support hub will operate from southwestern Sydney and provide a crucial starting point to connect at-risk women from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds to services.

Gulnara Abbasova, the director of the Multicultural Centre for Women’s and Family Safety, says migrant and refugee women face specific challenges and tailored support is needed.

“Limited English, a lack of family support or established networks, social isolation, a limited understanding of Australian systems as well as cultural considerations and stigma all present unique barriers to these women in accessing support,” she told AAP.
Additional structural barriers can also present problems in accessing services such as Centrelink or housing support due to visa and residency status.
“Because of these barriers migrant and refugee women are more likely to remain in unsafe situations for longer, only leaving at the point of crisis,” Abbasova said.
The centre will be critical in ensuring .
It will work to refer women to appropriate services while helping other providers strengthen their capacity to support migrant women with specialist DV services, settlement services and working with interpreters.
Abbasova said 35 per cent of all women in Sydney were born overseas and one in three from a migrant or refugee background have experienced family or domestic violence.
“These women are more reluctant to seek support and it’s only when it gets to the point of absolute crisis that they start reaching out to access services,” she added.
“It’s about supporting women to navigate the maze of available support.”
One specific challenge facing some migrant women is ‘migration-related abuse’ where perpetrators can threaten to withdraw visa sponsorship.

“It becomes a mechanism of control to keep women in unsafe situations,” Abbasova said.

An understanding of violence and healthy relationships can also differ between different cultural groups with the need to work with diverse communities more crucial to tailoring effective support.
The NSW government will invest $4.4 million to establish the centre in partnership with Settlement Services International.
With thousands of women to be assisted each year, the centre will operate statewide, including providing outreach in regional and rural NSW.
Women’s Minister Jodie Harrison said a domestic and family violence response must be tailored to communities “in all their diversity” in order to be effective.
“Not only are women from multicultural backgrounds more vulnerable to abuse, sadly they are less likely to seek help due to a range of cultural and language barriers,” she said.
The centre’s opening follows the announcement earlier this week of an emergency domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence or sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit .
In an emergency, call 000.
, operated by No to Violence, can be contacted on 1300 766 491.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “These women were unable to access domestic violence support. That’s about to change”
  1. As a woman myself, I believe it’s crucial that all women, regardless of their background, have access to the support they need to escape domestic violence. It’s great to see initiatives like this being put in place to address the specific challenges faced by migrant and refugee women.

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