inTouch welcomes the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs’ report into the practice of dowry, the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia and its connection to family violence.

Chief Executive Officer of inTouch, Ms Michal Morris, has welcomed the recommendation to have dowry abuse recognised by law.

‘Dowry-associated abuse has only begun to attract attention over the past few years in Australia but at inTouch, its presence has been clear since the commencement of our service in 1984. From our experience, simply and without equivocation, dowry abuse constitutes family violence’, said Ms Morris.

For 35 years, inTouch has been delivering support services to women and children from refugee and migrant communities who are experiencing family violence. This includes dowry abuse victims.

85 submissions were received for the Inquiry and inTouch was proud to have been involved by providing recommendations in collaboration with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.

Ms Morris has commended the Committee for their work on the Inquiry and said ‘We look forward to working with all political parties to implement the report’s recommendations which will make a huge difference to the many women experiencing dowry abuse’.

‘Having new laws identify dowry related abuse as family violence would trigger appropriate responses in terms of policy and services. Dowry abuse must be addressed with a multi-pronged approach. We believe this approach includes resourcing capacity building of services to deliver culturally appropriate family violence responses. In addition, developing education and prevention programs in migrant and refugee communities that will increase awareness and education of what constitutes family violence and where to seek help’, said Ms Morris.

During the inquiry, Ms Morris also advocated to amend the Migration Act 1958 to prohibit offenders of family violence, including dowry abusers, from sponsoring new spouses to come to the country.

You can read the full report here ‘The practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia’

For media inquiries contact Sonia Morabito on 03 9413 6568 or soniam@intouch.org.au