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Australia: Migrant women are unaware of SA’s laws to protect them against violent men, the State Government says

idi euaIn Adelaide’s suburbs, migrant women are sticking with violent men – some because they do not understand it is illegal, the State Government says.

In Adelaide’s suburbs, migrant women are sticking with violent men – some because they do not understand it is illegal, the State Government says.

A major Federal inquiry into migrants settling in Australia will hold a hearing in Adelaide today.

The State Government and refugee and migrant advocates have outlined the enormous challenges still being faced by people moving to the state.

“It is often reported that many migrants, particularly recent arrivals, are unaware of Australian laws relating to violence against women,” the State Government’s submission warns.

“In some countries, domestic and family violence is not considered a crime and sexual assault may not be recognised within a relationship. In others, family violence is against the law but may be condoned.

“As such, some migrants may not understand that violence in the home is illegal and not simply a private matter.”

Migrant and refugee women also find it harder to leave violent situations because of threats they will lose their kids in visa disputes. They are also held back by a lack of English, of employment, and of affordable housing.

The submission points to research showing that “a precarious migration status is often used by perpetrators to wield power and control over women, including through threats of deportation and/or losing access to children”.

Other SA submissions focus on the marginalisation of young people with migrant backgrounds – the Australian Refugee Association said not only were some young people unaware of laws, but they have “genuine fear of authority such as the police due to their past experiences”.

Then, they are too afraid to get proper help when they get into trouble.

“They are also shunned by their community, and at times their families, as they have brought shame and embarrassment. Without the support of the community and family, these young people spiral into self-destruction while trying to survive and get by,” the submission argues.

It goes on to discuss a group of young men predominantly with African backgrounds who “have engaged in anti-social behaviour including public intoxication, violence, harassment and stealing”.

The men became known to police but were no longer eligible for support from migrant services.

“These young men have identified the goal of bettering their life, however are extremely disconnected from their community, families and services that would be able to support them,” the ARA says.

The Migrant Resource Centre agrees and says when it comes to youth gangs from migrant backgrounds, it was often second and third-generation children who were getting into trouble, and more research was needed in that area.

The inquiry is focusing on young migrants and youth gang activity – the Federal Government announced it in the wake of a spate of violence involving the so-called Apex Gang in Melbourne.

Fonte: Adelaide Now

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