Urgent need to overhaul migration laws to protect domestic violence victims

Australia

Women on temporary visas face extra barriers to leaving violent partners and urgent changes to Australia’s migration laws are needed in order to protect them, a new report claims.

The Path to Nowhere report, endorsed by 44 national and state organisations working to prevent violence against women, lists the threat of deportation and fear of having to leave children behind as some of the additional obstacles women living in Australia on temporary visas face when considering whether to leave a violent partner.  

The report recommends the Australian government urgently expand eligibility for family violence provision.

It has also called for expanding access to Centrelink, Medicare and support services to ensure temporary visa holders are able to access help when needed.

It was published after data from a national survey conducted by the National Advocacy Group on Women on Temporary Visas Experiencing Violence found at least 387 women on temporary visas accessed support services for family violence during the month of August.

Around a quarter were living in crisis accommodation, while about one in ten remained living with their partner.

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