Violence against women has been recognised as an urgent public health, human rights and social policy problem in Australia. Family violence occurs in all communities and cultures in Australia, but so far there has been little research about how the experience of immigration and settlement significantly impacts on women’s experiences of violence and use of support services.
ASPIRE is funded by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) to better understand how immigrant and refugee women’s experiences of violence and support might differ from those of Australian-born women. The research has focused on the experiences of women of diverse backgrounds living in rural, suburban and metropolitan Victoria and Tasmania.
After two years of consulting, meeting and interviewing hundreds of participants, the project is nearing completion with a full report to be released in December 2016 and an exhibition held of women’s photographs on the theme of family violence. In collaboration with the University of Melbourne and University of Tasmania, the ASPIRE team has produced a state of knowledge report available on the ANROWS website, and has formed strong relationships in all of our research sites: Hobart, Glenorchy, Launceston, City of Dandenong, Latrobe City, City of Brimbank, City of Greater Bendigo and inner metropolitan Melbourne.
Research on this topic has not been carried out before in Australia on this scale, and MCWH has many people to thank including our own BHE team and the Bicultural Health Education Program at Red Cross Tasmania, who were involved in training,research and recruitment.
Our heartfelt thanks also to ANROWS, Dr Cathy Vaughan, Associate Professor Deb Warr, Dr Karen Block, Erin Davis, Daniela Rodgriguez, Jenna Chia, Samantha Mannix and Amanda Thompson at the University of Melbourne and Dr Linda Murray at the University of Tasmania.