Did you know that around one in five women living in Australia experience sexual violence and one in three experience physical violence at some point in their lives? Did you also know that women from other cultures living in Australia experience violence at an even higher rate?
Women from all cultures sometimes need support to deal with difficult situations, including the pressures of raising a family in a new country, so Jean Hailes for Women’s Health has partnered with InTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence to interview bilingual community workers and draw on their knowledge of what information is most needed by the women they work with.
The result is a practical and easy to understand resource that helps women to think about their physical and mental health in the context of family relationships and experiences settling into Australia.
How To Look After You is available in English and has been culturally translated into five different language groups – Indian (Punjabi), Arabic, Dari, Vietnamese and Chinese.
InTouch CEO Maya Avdibegovic says women from other cultures, now living in Australia, can be isolated and may have difficulty talking about their issues. “Some may be newly arrived, without family support and dealing with the immediate stress of resettling with limited English, limited employment and housing opportunities, and no knowledge of the Australian culture and justice system,” she says. “Many come from countries that do not have legal, financial or emotional support systems like what is available in Australia and don’t know that support systems exist here.”
“These women are much more isolated and dependent, even on partners who are abusive, than other women,” says Maya, “and this makes them much more vulnerable to ongoing abuse. Many women stay silent because they don’t want to bring shame to their families or community by admitting to not coping.”
“We ask communities and workplaces to be active in helping women from all cultures to feel safe and comfortable,” says Jean Hailes project manager Rhonda Garad, “and by making our new brochures available you might just help one woman start a conversation, and find the support she needs to take action to make her life better,”
How To Look After You can be accessed online at healthforwomen.org.au.
Copies can be ordered for clinics, workplaces, clubs and groups who would like to support women in their community.
This project is funded by a grant from The Collie Foundation, managed by ANZ Trustees.
Published with the permission of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health
1800 JEAN HAILES (532 642)
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