Victoria needs culturally-specific women's refuges


The Victorian Greens have called for the establishment of culturally-specific women’s refuges in Victoria to mark International Women’s Day.

While NSW has several and QLD recently set up its first, Victoria currently has no culturally specific women’s refuges for women from culturally diverse communities escaping family violence.

This is despite the fact that women from multicultural communities in Victoria are experiencing family violence at alarming rates and require tailored support.

In 2020 there was a Whittlesea cluster of suicides linked to migrant women who were experiencing family violence and isolation, and just this year we heard the tragic news that a mother and her daughter were murdered in Mill Park in an act of family violence.

However, despite the Victorian Coroner recommending improved support services for South Asian women following the cluster of suicides, very little has happened.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said despite evidence that culturally appropriate services could save lives, it was astonishing that Victoria still didn’t have a culturally-specific refuge for women trying to escape life-threatening situations.

She said that by following the lead of NSW and QLD and establishing a refuge, Victoria could help to support and protect women from multicultural communities facing rising levels of family violence.

The Greens have launched a petition calling on the government to urgently invest in culturally specific refuges.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:   

“Victorian multicultural communities are experiencing violence against women at alarming levels.

“Without culturally-specific women’s refuges, communities are not able to access the tailored support they need.

“We know that women from multicultural communities face specific issues that require specific support, from immigration abuse to isolation and post-conflict trauma.

“Funding Victoria’s first network of culturally-specific refuges would provide them with the support they need."