News & Events

Call on our services continues to grow

April 22, 2022

It has been a busy and positive time at Emerge over the past two months. We are well underway with the renovations in our crisis accommodation, our outreach program continues to grow and services which have been on hold due to the pandemic are starting once more.

This said, the reality is that the call for our services continues to grow as more women leave violence. For some, the chance to leave comes too late. This week we learned of the 17th woman to die from violence this year. This is the equivalent of one woman being killed every week by her intimate partner.

For others, leaving is not an option. Included in this group are migrant and refugee women – an increasingly growing cohort of women using Emerge services. A recent study, titled Safety and Security, revealed that one third of migrant and refugee women experienced some form of domestic and/or family violence during the pandemic.

The study, published this year by Harmony Alliance (a migrant and refugee women advocacy organisation) and the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre, revealed only one in two women seek help, with four out of five never contacting the police about the incidents or their experiences. In addition, several prevailing factors, any number of which can be experienced by diverse women, such as the fear of losing visas or economic support, the limited availability of interpreters or resources in multiple languages, the lack of awareness of interpreter services, cultural beliefs or even the many layers of gender-based violence, further reduces the instances and methods through which women may reach out and seek help.

We concur with the findings. From our experience, diverse women are not only disproportionately affected by domestic violence, they are also hampered by the limitations in the existing justice system and face specific barriers in accessing support services.

Emerge places great emphasis on training frontline staff about violence experienced in and by different cultures and especially economic abuse and isolation. Armed with this knowledge, and with our links and networks into and with support services, our staff can assist women and their children more effectively.

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