National roundtable to discuss violence against culturally and linguistically diverse women
Violence against culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women was under the spotlight today when community and business leaders, academics, specialists and other key stakeholders came together at a national roundtable today.
Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells spoke at the national roundtable. State and Territory Government Minsters responsible for women’s safety also attended to discuss priority areas for action.
Minister Morrison said this was the first time a roundtable of this type had been held.
“It is vital that we engage in what is such an important conversation,” Minister Morrison said.
“Last year the Government launched the Second Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. The Second Action Plan has a strong focus on understanding the experiences of violence and women from CALD backgrounds offer an important perspective.
“As a direct result of the government’s continued commitment to the Action Plan, I am pleased to announce the Abbott Government will provide $160,000 for the Diversity Data project, to be undertaken by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).
“The project will review existing knowledge about how CALD women, Indigenous women and women with a disability experience violence, allowing us to identify key gaps in data and consider options on how to obtain better information in the future.”
At the national roundtable, Minister Cash also launched a pre-departure information pack to educate women about Australian standards before they move to Australia to be with their partner.
“The pack fulfils an election commitment and includes information on Australia’s domestic laws relating to family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage, and emergency contacts in Australia,” Minister Cash said.
“Often there is a fundamental lack of knowledge of those women coming from overseas in terms of our domestic laws, what rights they are afforded in Australia and where to turn to if they require help.
“Violence against women must not be tolerated in any community. We hope that this information pack will assist women from diverse communities who are often more vulnerable when it comes to domestic violence and potentially less able to seek appropriate assistance.”
A report into the experiences of CALD women was presented at the roundtable. The report, Hearing Her Voice, summarises the findings of 29 ‘kitchen table’ conversations with women from over 40 ethnic and cultural backgrounds across Australia.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells, with her special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, said that these ‘kitchen table’ conversations enabled CALD women to talk about issues of domestic and family violence and sexual assault.
“Discussions focussed on issues and challenges, community involvement, the role of government, engaging CALD men and practical ideas to reduce violence against CALD women,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
“The findings from this report reinforce concerns that I have been aware of during my many years of involvement in community activities and most recently, from my extensive engagement with communities at risk. It is important that we now take concrete action to reduce and ultimately eliminate violence by building resilience in families and empowering CALD women.”
The pre-departure pack is an online resource, available at www.dss.gov.au/family-safety-pack.
Victims of domestic and family violence and / or sexual assault, as well as their family and friends can contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit www.1800respect.org.au.