The Experience of International Students Before and During COVID-19: Housing, work, study, and wellbeing

 University of Technology Sydney, Australian Research Council study (DP190101073),

International students’ experience of renting accommodation in Australia is a crucial but overlooked determinant of their wellbeing, which has been brought into stark relief by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report is based on two surveys of international students in the private rental sector (PRS). The first survey was conducted in the second half of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second survey in June and the first week of July 2020, during the pandemic.

The findings of the first survey show that a substantial proportion of international students were already in a precarious situation before the pandemic.

The second survey reveals the various impacts of the pandemic on international students in the private rental sector and the extent to which their circumstances have deteriorated.

The report also draws on data from the initial stage of the qualitative component of the study – semi-structured in-depth interviews with international students conducted between April and July 2020. Quotes from some of the 26 semi-structured interviews conducted thus far, are presented alongside the survey data evidence that follows.

Although the focus is on the experiences of private renting, the report has taken a broader sociological approach to student housing problems and, as such, it offers wider insights into the wellbeing, employment, and income situations of international students at a crucial turning point for the Australian higher education sector

New Guides: Family Violence Response for Women with Disabilities

Women with Disabilities Victoria, July 2020

WDV’s Workforce Development Team  have produced two new resources. These resources outline the best practice response to violence against women with disabilities, including supporting a woman who discloses experiencing violence, and lists a number of referral services.

(Please note some of the referrals are specific to Victoria. 1800RESPECT provide free and confidential counselling and referal to local services.)

Download resources: 

 

Community Forum: Sex Work Decriminalisation (free online event)

Thorne Harbour Health, July 2020

A review into the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria is currently underway. Join us to learn about sex work decriminalisation from an expert panel including representatives of the Scarlet Alliance, Sex Industry Network, Vixen Collective, SWOP NT and Respect QLD.

The event will feature presentations on the current regulatory framework in different Australian jurisdictions and the lived experiences of sex workers under the criminalised model, followed by a panel discussion covering issues such as licensing, mandatory STI testing, and recent reform efforts.

Forum date & time: Wed, 29 July 2020 at 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ACST

Tickets to the LGBTI Family Violence Forum available now (free online events)

Thorne Harbour Health, 22nd July 2020

Effecting Change and Accountability: Family Violence Interventions for LGBTI Communities: Monday 10th to Friday 14th August 2020

Since the release of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations in 2016, LGBTI family violence service providers and mainstream family violence services who are attaining rainbow tick accreditation have worked more deliberately to develop and sustain inclusive and informed responses to LGBTI people using or experiencing family violence.

This annual community-led forum offers a platform to LGBTI community organisations and allied organisations to present their work, share knowledge, skills and look at service areas that need further development. This forum will provide information, presentations, interactive workshops and networking opportunities for service providers and other professionals about family violence in LGBTI communities.

We invite practitioners and community advocates from family violence sector and LGBTI community sectors, allied health sector practitioners, policy writers, victim survivor advocates, community organisers and people who are committed to the work to end family violence and break down LGBTI stigma and discrimination, increase community connectedness, improve community awareness of the needs of LGBTI communities, as well as striving to remove barriers to LGBTI inclusion, celebration, and embracing diversity.

Tickets available now: 

Breaking the Binary Code: Celebrating gender and sexuality diversity

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre (Victoria), 2020

Breaking the Binary Code: Celebrating gender and sexuality diversity, challenging stereotypes and relationship expectations is a 18-month primary prevention of family violence project. 

The project has a strengths-based approach working with LGBTIQA+ young people, community and stakeholders.

It was led in partnership with The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre, Barwon Adolescent Taskforce (BATForce), City of Greater Geelong, and Creative Geelong Inc, funded by the Victorian State Government under the Free from Violence Fund.

Project Objectives:

  • support the community in increasing awareness and understanding of what a healthy, safe and respectful relationship looks like in a LGBTIQA+ relationship;
  • challenge images of gender, sexuality and expectations in relationships, that are portrayed through pornography and the online environment, and promote healthy, safe and respectful relationships that are free from violence;
  • develop key terms to include in a narrative that will support parents/carers in having conversations with young LGBTIQA+ people about the subject matter; and
  • challenge the binary constructs of women and men and provide supportive and inclusive language for young people exploring gender and sexuality.

The project will engage in activities including:

  • Consultation and engagement
  • Use of inclusive language about gender, sexuality and family violence.
  • Develop a creative resource to support discussion and conversation about gender and sexuality diversity and relationships that are free from violence.
  • Challenge society binary constructs of gender and sexuality through challenging images within social norms, stereotypes and media, and stereotypes and relationship expectations

Resources

 

 

 

 

Calls for segregated mental health wards to reduce sexual assault risk

ABC (Katherine Gregory on AM), February 2020

Sexual violence against women in mental health wards is going unchecked, despite service providers’ awareness of the problem.

A new report has found women in Victorian mental health wards are vulnerable to sexual assault, harassment and violence from male patients and staff.

It’s calling for stricter separation of male and female patients in mental health wards and an overhaul of how assault complaints are dealt with.

Broadcast: 
Duration: 3min 49sec
Featuring:

– Doctor Juliet Watson, RMIT University
– Charlotte Jones, Victorian Mental Health Legal Centre