Forced marriage is a major breach of human rights and is classified as a serious crime in Australia. It is common for victims of forced marriage to experience other forms of abuse, including human trafficking, family violence, domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual assault.
Issues covered in the position paper include:
– Definitions and presentations of forced marriage
– Barriers to disclosure and prosecution
– The role of forced marriage in slavery, human trafficking and abuse
– Expansion of family violence provisions and definitions
– Protection and response strategy and legislation
Read the position paper here.
Coercive control is a deliberate pattern of abuse occurring within intimate relationships, consisting of emotional and psychological manipulation, such as intimidation, stalking, surveillance and isolation. It is commonly used in instances of family violence and is almost always a precursor to serious physical violence or homicide. Issues covered in the paper include-
– The potential for the criminalisation of coercive control to improve judicial responses to family violence and contribute to the reduction of harm
– Changing community attitudes towards controlling patterns of behaviour in relationships
– The possible effect of criminalisation on refugee and migrant communities and the steps required to encourage positive outcomes
Read the position paper here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused upheaval across the world. Whilst maintaining relatively low levels of infections of the virus itself, Australia has experienced tremendous social impact in its implementation of a COVID suppression strategy.
The closures of internal and external borders, nation-wide industry shutdowns, as well as the months-long residential lockdowns that took place in Victoria, have had significant impacts on employment and mental health of individuals and communities.
After the difficult year people in Victoria have experienced, we are now able to reflect on the impacts of what occurred and discuss some important lessons. Read the paper here.
This paper highlights the ongoing impacts of the pandemic six months on, and the most recent restrictions on our clients and organisation. It includes extended waiting times to resolve legal matters, housing insecurity and homelessness, side effects of using masks and the impact on our team supporting our clients. Read the issues paper here.
This paper highlights some critical trends and concerns that inTouch has seen emerge from our service delivery programs during the pandemic. It explores the increase in client referrals to inTouch since the beginning of lockdown, the weaponisation of COVID-19, and the difficulties experienced by women on temporary visas who are unable to access support services. Read the issues paper here.
inTouch’s Submission makes a number of recommendations to reduce the barriers that our clients face when they are seeking safety through the services system. Most importantly, we hope to highlight that it is critical to adopt an intersectional framework and perspective in government policy which acknowledges the diverse needs of diverse communities. Read our full submission here.
inTouch’s position paper outlines the barriers women face being on a temporary visa and the gaps in services. It urges the government to implement eight recommendations in order to improve supports and services for these vulnerable women. Read our full paper here and two page summary here. The media release for the position paper can be read here.
In December 2019, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Temporary Migration to inquire into and report on the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions. Read our submission to the Select Committee here.
Over 100 peak bodies – including inTouch – co-signed a joint statement that highlights our view that the current Family Law Inquiry goes against the unanimous views of experts in the family violence sector. Read our submission to the Joint Select Committee here.
The 4NAP was released by the Commonwealth Government in August 2019. Whilst it outlines a number of positive objectives, there is still a lot of work required to implement its intent into government policy, practice and funding programs. Read our position paper here.
inTouch are concerned about the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018, and the possible negative effects on women, in particular women experiencing family violence. Read our position paper here.
We made a submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and offered recommendations based on our experiences working with women from refugee and migrant backgrounds who are experiencing family violence.
We developed a position paper on dowry abuse following the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs’ report into the practice of dowry and dowry abuse in Australia. Read the paper here.
We provided advice to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. We offered recommendations on how to reduce the incidence of family violence in culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Victoria.
We informed the Parliamentary Inquiry into a Better Family Law of the challenges that culturally and linguistically diverse communities face when engaging with the current family law system.
We provided advice on how it could be improved to better support and protect women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities who experience family violence.
We partnered with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand to provide recommendations on the practice and incidence of dowry abuse in Australia to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.