This report draws on survey responses from almost 1,400 migrant and refugee women across Australia. While the survey is not a representative sample, and cannot provide a comprehensive account of the experiences of all women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, it offers a unique snapshot of a sample of women from across Australia who were willing to share their experiences. It offers key insights to build a more nuanced understanding of the diversity of migrant and refugee women’s experiences and its findings can be used to inform policy and other measures that may best support migrant and refugee women into the future.
The report is organised into three parts: Domestic and Family Violence (DFV); Victimisation, Help-Seeking and Trust in Institutions; and Employment. Across DFV and Employment we consider 2019 (that is, prior to COVID-19) and the period from March 2020 until September– November 2020, when the survey was available.
The original focus of this survey was women’s safety, with a spotlight on domestic and family violence. However, given the disruption, impact and hardships caused by the global pandemic, the survey shifted to accommodate the rupture of 2020 and questions were included to examine life and safety before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the survey was not dedicated to identifying the depth and breadth of the repercussions of COVID-19, it captured key data on how stay-at-home directives and other policy measures related to the pandemic impacted women’s experiences of domestic and family violence, employment, and financial security. The survey findings provide a foundation for important knowledge regarding the experiences and needs of women across Australia’s diverse migrant and refugee communities as we look towards a post-COVID-19 future.