THE MUSES PROJECT: Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence

New evidence to support migrant and refugee women’s health, safety and wellbeing

MCWH is proud to share the findings of new research we conducted in three Australian states about the current and potential role of settlement and multicultural services in supporting migrant and refugee women experiencing violence.

We conducted the research with funding from Australia’s Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and in partnership with researchers at University of Melbourne, University of Tasmania and Flinders University.

Our heartfelt thanks to ANROWS and to an amazing research team in Dr Cathy Vaughan, Dr Karen Block, Claire Sullivan, Jeanine Hourani, Sarah Khaw, Dr Yara Jarallah, Dr Lana Zannettino, Dr Carolyn Gregoric, Dr Linda Murray, Mariyam Suha, Dr Jasmin Chen, Dr Adele Murdolo and Monisha Sandhu.

view the research summary in PDF

Key findings

The MuSeS study explored how multicultural and settlement services can better support women experiencing violence. We found that:

  • multicultural and settlement service providers regularly encounter and support clients experiencing family violence
  • services’ capacity to respond is strengthened by staff training, organisational support structures, and community connectedness
  • services’ capacity to respond is undermined by limited funding and service scope, and limited options for referral.

Key recommendations

  • Recognise multicultural and settlement services as an integral part of the family violence system.
  • Build the bilingual/bicultural workforce within the family violence sector.
  • Within multicultural and settlement services, embed protocols for risk assessment, ensure training for staff and volunteers, and address stress and staff turnover.
  • Strengthen collaboration between the family violence sector and the multicultural and settlement services sector.

Read the Full Research Report in PDF view (2MB)


On 10 June 2020, MCWH Executive Director Adele Murdolo will be speaking on a panel with experts and researchers to discuss:

  • how multicultural and settlement services regularly encounter and respond to clients who are experiencing violence
  • the strengths and constraints impacting service provision
  • key recommendations of the research for policy and practice.

For more information and to register, visit our events page.