Intimate partner violence in Australian refugee communities

Scoping review of issues and service responses
Violence against women Sex crimes Violent crimes Refugees Family violence Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) CALD Violence prevention Queensland Victoria Western Australia
Attachment Size
apo-nid211166.pdf 1.92 MB

This paper looks at what is currently known about intimate partner violence in Australian refugee communities, and what service providers can do to ensure appropriate support is available to this client group. The first half of the paper provides a scoping review of current research. The second half of the paper looks at real-life case studies of service practice through consultations with organisations of importance to refugee communities in Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.

Key messages:

  • Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most commonly experienced form of family violence used against women in Australia and takes place across all cultures and faith groups.
  • In addition to physical and sexual violence, women from refugee backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse, reproductive coercion and immigration-related violence.
  • Intersecting factors relevant to the experience of IPV in refugee communities include migration pathways and traumatic pre-arrival experiences, as well as settlement issues such as acculturation stress and social isolation.
  • Integrated, trauma-informed care is regarded as promising practice in services targeting individuals from refugee backgrounds to address women's experiences of IPV.
  • To assist in overcoming barriers to engagement, service providers can implement strategies to enhance cultural safety. Promoting community involvement and leadership has been shown to be important in developing culturally competent programming and should underpin violence prevention strategies.
Publication Details


CFCA Paper no.50