POLICY, ADVOCACY AND RESEARCH

Our work in policy

We make policy submissions and develop position papers in the areas of family violence, justice, education and other areas. We focus on areas which have an impact on migrant and refugee communities in Victoria and Australia.

Our position on these issues is informed by our clients and their lived experiences of family violence, migration and resettlement.

Issues paper on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on inTouch clients September 2020

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.


Issues paper on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on inTouch clients April 2020

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 Submission to the Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence ‚Äď August 2020

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.¬†


Position paper: Women on temporary visas experiencing family violence

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.


Submission to the Select Committee on Temporary Migration – March 2020

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.


Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System – January 2020

Over 100 peak bodies ‚Äď including inTouch ‚Äď 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.


Position paper on Fourth National Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children (4NAP) 

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.


Position paper outlining concerns to new migration laws

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.


Submission to Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

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.


Position paper on dowry abuse following Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs’ report

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.


Submission to Royal Commission into Family Violence

Submission to the Royal Commission into Family ViolenceWe 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.


Parliamentary Inquiry into a Better Family Law

Parliamentary Inquiry into a Better Family LawWe 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.


Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs ‚Äď Dowry abuse

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.

Our work in advocacy

We participate on advisory groups and committees to improve responses to family violence and influence state and federal government policy.

We participate in the following groups on an ongoing basis:

Our research and publications

Family Violence and Temporary Visa Holders During COVID-19 

Published September 2020.

inTouch partnered with Monash University for this study which documented 100 inTouch clients who held temporary visas and sought our support due to family violence during the first COVID-19 lockdown phase in Victoria from 16 March to 31 May 2020. This report builds on previous advocacy work and makes a number of recommendations to Commonwealth reform, and services and support for all individuals experiencing domestic and family violence in Australia. Read the full report here.


Research brief: Forced marriage in Australia  
Research brief: Support options for migrant women on temporary visas experiencing family violence in Australia

Published in 2019.

inTouch collaborated with the Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre at Monash University on the two research briefs.

One brief provides an overview of forced marriage in Australia ‚Äď how it‚Äôs understood, its relationship with family violence, and existing legal and non-legal responses to prevent forced marriage and support those who experience it. The second brief focuses on the impacts for women on temporary visas, and identifies the complications that may arise for migrant women accessing services and support in the context of family violence.


Temporary migration and family violence: An analysis of victimisation, vulnerabilities and support

Temporary Migration and Family Violence: An analysis of victimisation, vulnerability and supportPublished in 2017.

In partnership with Monash University, we conducted a comprehensive review of the cases we managed that involved women who have experienced family violence and who had a temporary migration status.


inCulture, inTouch: Integrated model of support for culturally and linguistically diverse women experiencing family violence

inCulture, inTouch: Integrated model of support for culturally and linguistically diverse women experiencing family violencePublished in 2016.

In partnership with Jean Hailes Foundation, we conducted an evaluation into our health justice initiative. This initiative was underpinned by a social determinants approach to healthcare. This approach recognises the impact of social factors such as family violence and legal access upon individual health outcomes.

This report acknowledges the accounts and input from women experiencing family violence and the workers supporting them.

These cases help to raise awareness of the experiences of family violence in diverse contexts. It also helps raise awareness of the critical success factors for effective interventions to address complex needs.


I lived in fear because I knew nothing

I lived in fear because I knew nothingPublished in 2010.

With the support of the Victoria Law Foundation, this research discusses the distinct barriers women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds face when accessing the legal and justice system.

This research was driven by a concern for the compromised safety and wellbeing of these women and children.


The Empty Jar Therapeutic Resource Kit

The Empty Jar Therapeutic Resource KitPublished in 2014.

The Empty Jar Therapeutic Resource Kit was created by Jennifer Dawson and Pablo Browne.

The kit was designed for practitioners working with children who have experienced family violence.

The Empty Jar is a story of a young girl who learns that her inner strengths can take her where she needs to go.


Other publications

These publications were published under our former name ‚ÄėImmigrant Women‚Äôs Domestic Violence Service‚Äô.