New Plan to Tackle Abuse of Migrant Women
11 August 2015 at 10:52 am
The Abbott Government will attempt to educate migrant women on their rights surrounding forced marriage and domestic violence before they arrive in Australia.
Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, announced the plan at a national roundtable event focussing on violence against culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women.
Senator Cash said that pre-departure information packs would be translated into 22 different languages and used to educate women about “Australian standards” before they move to Australia to be with their partner.
“The pack fulfils an election commitment and includes information on Australia’s domestic laws relating to family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage, and emergency contacts in Australia,” Senator Cash said.
“Often there is a fundamental lack of knowledge of those women coming from overseas in terms of our domestic laws, what rights they are afforded in Australia and where to turn to if they require help.
“Violence against women must not be tolerated in any community. We hope that this information pack will assist women from diverse communities who are often more vulnerable when it comes to domestic violence and potentially less able to seek appropriate assistance.”
Morrison said it was the first time a roundtable of this type had been held, as he also announced $160,000 in funding for the Diversity Data project.
“The project will review existing knowledge about how CALD women, Indigenous women and women with a disability experience violence, allowing us to identify key gaps in data and consider options on how to obtain better information in the future,” Morrison said.
“It is vital that we engage in what is such an important conversation.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, also released the findings of a report, Hearing Her Voice, which summarised the findings of 29 “kitchen table” conversations with women from over 40 ethnic and cultural backgrounds across Australia.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the report had found disturbing details of domestic and family violence and sexual assault.
“Discussions focussed on issues and challenges, community involvement, the role of government, engaging CALD men and practical ideas to reduce violence against CALD women,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
“The findings from this report reinforce concerns that I have been aware of during my many years of involvement in community activities and most recently, from my extensive engagement with communities at risk. It is important that we now take concrete action to reduce and ultimately eliminate violence by building resilience in families and empowering CALD women.”
The pre-departure packs are available here.
Victims of domestic and family violence or sexual assault, as well as their family and friends, can contact 1800RESPECT or visit www.1800respect.org.au.