Advance the Rights and Welfare of Partner Migrants in Australia
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Equitable services for all victim-survivors of family violence in Australia:
Let’s protect the rights of all partner migrants
In Australia, one in four women experience family violence and one woman is killed every week by her current or former partner. Family violence affects everyone in the community. However, experiences of family violence and the support available for victim-survivors varies across different groups.
Women living in Australia on temporary visas - especially those women on ‘non-partner’ visas such as fiancée, tourist, 457, student, and bridging visas – are one group that are particularly at risk of family violence because of the uncertainty of their migration status and restrictive visa conditions. The evidence shows that perpetrators use their partner’s temporary visa status as a lever for abuse and to threaten deportation. The evidence also shows that migrant women report the violence to authorities only when it is already a matter of life and death.
The family violence provisions within the 1994 Migration Regulations only protect migrant women on partner visas that offer a pathway to permanent residency. Migrant women on all other temporary visa categories and who are in violent relationships are ineligible to use this safety net.
Because of their migration status, women on temporary visas face numerous barriers in getting help because of restricted access to services and support and they are often the ‘last to be in, first to be out’ in women refuges.
We urge the government to provide equitable services and support to all women experiencing family violence regardless of their visa status. We also call for the expansion of the family violence provisions in the Migration Regulations 1994 to include all women on temporary visas, including those on non-partner visas.
This online petition was developed by the Partner Migrants Advocates’ Network currently composed of the following organisations - Gabriela Australia with chapters in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, Migrante Australia (with chapters in Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia), Anakbayan Melbourne, African Family Services, Philippine Fiesta of Victoria, FCCVI (Filipino Community Council of Victoria), PASA (Philippine Australia Solidarity Association), PACSI (Philippine Australian Community Services Inc. NSW), Swinburne University’s Office of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Engagement), Immigrant Women Speak Out in NSW, Asian Women at Work, and Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
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