Call to Action!! Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence
Today, on Human Rights Day, and Day 16 of 16 Days of Activism, Orange the World: #HearMeToo campaign, the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence launch our report - Path to Nowhere: Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence and their Children. Project Respect is proud to be a part of the Group.
We are a group of national and state peak bodies, service providers and other organisations working to end violence against women across Australia who joined together in June 2018 to form the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence.
According to a national survey we conducted in August 2018, it appears at least 387 women on temporary visas experiencing violence sought or received assistance that month. As a group, they have more than 351 children or dependents. Crisis and long-term housing was the service most needed by clients that organisations were unable to provide, followed by financial assistance. As we collected survey data through our networks only, the actual number of women on temporary visas and their children who are experiencing violence in Australia is likely to be much higher.
We are deeply concerned for the safety of women on temporary visas and their children, like Tami and her child. Every woman and child has the right to live free from violence.
As you know, women on temporary visas and their children face specific barriers to seeking support, particularly the fear of deportation and the loss of custody of their children. Perpetrators of violence use these barriers to maintain power and control over these women. We urge you to read the real stories of Tami, Anna and Alia in the report. Tami has an Australian child with an Australian man who uses violence against her. Due to Tami’s inability to access income, stable housing and fear of leaving her Australian son, she felt she had no other option than to return to the violent man after she tried to leave. She has been raped and strangled since her return, which is a very high risk indicator for future homicide.
The Commonwealth and State and Territory governments have still yet to implement Action 3.8 of the Third Action Plan 2016-2019 of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children to: ‘Ensure migration rules and eligibility requirements for support services do not disempower victims of violence or discourage them from leaving violent relationships.’ The National Advocacy Group has drafted the attached report which includes the survey results, several case studies and detailed recommendations aligned to Action 3.8 to call for urgent law and policy change by all governments to address this national crisis.
We would greatly appreciate your help to ensure all governments make the law and policy changes needed so that women on temporary visas who are experiencing violence and their children are supported to be safe. Can you please help us create a social media storm to launch our report?
- Tweet on Twitter: Every woman and child has the right to live free from violence. Act on 3.8, you’re running late! Link to report @ScottMorrisonMP @KellyODwyer @DavidColemanMP @billshortenmp @tanya_plibersek @LindaBurneyMP @ShayneNeumannMP #freedomfromviolence #everywoman #everychild #humanrightsday #3AP
- Post on Facebook: Every woman and child has the right to live free from violence. Act on 3.8, you’re running late! Link to report @scottmorrison4cook @KellyODwyerMP @davidcoleman4banks @BillShorten @tanya.plibersek @LindaBurneyMP @ShayneNeumannMP #freedomfromviolence #everywoman #everychild #humanrightsday #3AP
The Group have also drafted a letter which you can send to politicians, as well as a list of politicians to send the letters to!
Hopefully, the launch of this report, and this call to action will elevate the voices of women on temporary visas experiencing violence, and foster a proper response from government to better protect women on temporary visas experiencing violence.