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Strengthening support for culturally diverse women experiencing violence

Family violence happens across all cultures and communities. In Jesuit Social Services’ work with migrants and refugees, we sometimes come into contact with women experiencing, or at risk of domestic or family violence, in those communities too. Our new partnership with the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR) is part of an ongoing effort to tailor our responses to women experiencing violence.

As part of the partnership, AMWCHR is delivering training to Jesuit Social Services staff working in settlement programs. Settlement Coordinator, Kimberley Malone says migrant and refugee women face different barriers to seeking help, and mainstream family violence services aren’t always equipped to meet their needs. “This partnership will help us better identify family violence, and strengthen our relationships with local specialist multicultural and culturally-specific domestic violence services, so we can confidently connect women to services that meet their specific needs.”

Jesuit Social Services also plans to collaborate with AMWCHR to deliver a six-week program on healthy relationships for participants in our settlement programs. “We hope the program will increase awareness of family violence, challenge institutionally and culturally embedded assumptions that condone violence against women, and address barriers to seeking help.

“It is often women in the community who are the first responders to family violence. By empowering our participants with an understanding of family violence, we hope to see the impact of the program extend far beyond the immediate group,” Kimberley says.