When you're in danger: visa status shouldn't matter

When you're in danger: visa status shouldn't matter

Every member of our community should be able to get the support they need to be safe at home; no matter their visa status.  

When an abuser is determined to control and isolate you, escaping can be incredibly difficult and dangerous. For women on temporary visas - current government systems mean their abusers have even more leverage to keep them trapped.  

As well as wielding violence, control and isolation - abusers often also threaten victim-survivors on temporary visas with deportation, and separation from their children, if they try to build independent, safer lives. 

On top of that - inadequate government resourcing of services across the board means they are often prevented from accessing the support and services they need to be safe. In fact, right now many women on temporary visas trying to escape abusers can’t access crisis accommodation, basic healthcare, or income support - facing homelessness and poverty if they manage to escape. 

Experts are calling for governments to ensure everyone - regardless of their visa status - can escape violence and abuse and access the services and support they need to be safe. Can you show your support for the government to support all women’s safety?

More information (click to view) 

In a recent survey of specialist family violence services in NSW by Women’s Safety NSW, 78% of respondents reported that lack of access to appropriate crisis accommodation was putting women on temporary visas at risk of further violence. And a shocking 96% of services said a lack of income support posed a safety risk to those same women. 

A survey by Domestic Violence NSW also found 45% of specialist family violence workers observed people on temporary visas experiencing increased sexual, domestic or family violence during the COVID-19 crisis and 64% of workers saying this group has had decreased access to income, food and essentials.

Australia’s leading experts have urged the Morrison Government to make these 4 changes to improve all women’s safety during this pandemic: 

  • Properly funding the specialist women’s and family violence services that support victim-survivor safety and intervene with perpetrators,
  • Ensure every woman subject to violence is able to access the income, material and health support she needs to be safe and escape her abuser,
  • Ensure the legal system prioritises safety – including improving AVO standards and putting safety first in family law, and
  • Maintain access to contraception and abortion care so that those facing sexual violence and reproductive coercion can access the support they need.

They’re also backing these specific changes to ensure women on temporary visas aren’t left behind and in danger: 

  • Create a sub visa category for people on temporary visas experiencing domestic and family violence that allows them to access critical government services and support whilst achieving safety and making alternate visa arrangements;
  • Ensure specialist domestic and family violence services have the capacity to appropriately support victim-survivors, whatever their migration status or circumstance.
  • Ensure avenues victim-survivors use to reach out for safety support include interpreter services so that those reaching out for help can be heard and access the trauma informed support they need when seeking safety. 

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Peter , 2560  /  signed 2020-08-25 14:12:10 +1000
"This is an important issue for members of the community who are often overlooked – but they shouldn’t be , not in a supposed democracy that believes in justice, safety and fairness for all!"
Denise , 4816  /  signed 2020-08-25 14:08:38 +1000
Kiara , 2560  /  signed 2020-08-25 14:05:33 +1000
Donna , 4306  /  signed 2020-08-25 14:01:58 +1000
"Every human being has the right to a safe environment and respect. Immigrant women on temporary visas are especially vulnerable to perpetrators who pretend to be normal functioning members of society. This adds to the lack of visibility to domestic abuse. Good parents deserve to stay with their children, without threat."
Margaret , 4301  /  signed 2020-08-25 13:50:03 +1000
Sana , 2560  /  signed 2020-08-25 13:42:34 +1000
"Women on temporary visas need all the support that they can get from the government especially at these times. We need to keep them safe and it is the responsibility of everyone to that."
Edward , 2042  /  signed 2020-08-25 13:31:36 +1000
Douglas , 4000  /  signed 2020-08-25 13:17:51 +1000
Jane , 2602  /  signed 2020-08-25 13:10:03 +1000
Erica , 3918  /  signed 2020-08-25 13:09:42 +1000
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