Impact of COVID-19 on Migrant and Refugee Women and Children Experiencing DFV

Women’s Safety NSW, Published: July 31, 2020

Whilst research on the prevalence of violence against migrant and refugee women is limited, what is known is that cultural, language and systemic barriers serve to reduce access to safety and support for this group of women, and they are at higher risk of domestic homicide. (AIC 2020)

This also corresponds with lower rates of reporting amongst migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence, as distrust for authorities, limited knowledge of rights and services and concerns about both material and cultural ramifications can serve as insurmountable barriers to accessing the supports needed. (AIFS 2018)

What has not yet been investigated is the specific impact of COVID-19 on migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence. This report from Women’s Safety NSW offers the experiences and professional observations of multicultural domestic and family violence specialists supporting hundreds of these very women at this critical time. What they’ve reported is that migrant and refugee women who are experiencing domestic and family violence are at higher risk than they have ever been before and that urgent action is needed if we are going to save lives.

New service providing mental health support to people of CALD backgrounds

Relationships Australia South Australia, May 2020

ASKPEACE is available to provide mental health support to people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds living in South Australia who have been impacted by COVID-19.

The ASK Peace Project will provide a virtual service based on counselling and case management, referrals, support and advocacy services to respond to the mental health and wellbeing of CALD individuals, families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is not necessary to speak English to access this service.

You can refer your client to this service; they also accept self-referrals.

There is no cost for the service.

HIV Women’s Health Program Update

Relationships Australia South Australia, February 2018

Information for Service Providers 

The HIV Women’s Health Program of Relationships Australia South Australia has been established to provide a range of services to empower women affected by or at risk of HIV to lead a healthy life that is free of stigma and discrimination.

Their service is for all women affected by HIV regardless of their cultural backgrounds. Women can be referred to the service or contact them directly.

All women accessing this service will be initially seen by the female Program Coordinator who has extensive experience in working with gender based issues, HIV and culture. The Coordinator will first meet women face to face, conduct a general assessment and will discuss the most suitable interventions and future directions.

Their services include:
• Individual support, counselling, case management, advocacy and referral services.
• Bi-monthly women’s peer support group (all participants must register with the program coordinator).
• A specific website http://indabahiv.com.au/ that provides information relevant to women’s living with HIV. The information is useful for people living with HIV, the wider community and service providers.
• Peer development pathways to empower women who are interested in being involved in providing peer support and/or in public speaking about HIV.

They will regularly consult with women to identify concerns and gaps in service delivery.

Trans services expanded at SHINE SA

SHINE SA, March 2017

SHINE SA has expanded its services for trans and gender diverse people, with the Trans Wellbeing service. This service provides non-urgent counselling, peer support and case management for people who are trans, gender diverse and gender questioning, their family members, partners and supports.

Trans Wellbeing is based at 57 Hyde Street in the city, and offers professional and peer support and information that is outside the mainstream health system.

Trans Wellbeing recruits from the South Australian transgender community wherever possible and includes volunteers and paid staff with a lived experience (trans women, trans men, people who identify as non-binary, partners and parents).

The service sees people from the age of 12 years and up, with a peer support service for trans/gender diverse people aged 18 years and up. Those aged 12 – 17 years receive a service tailored to their age.

Services provided through Trans Wellbeing are:

  • peer telephone support and information
  • peer support and case management
  • peer support program (18 years and up)
  • clinical psychology

Find more information on each of these here or by phoning (08) 7099 5300