The Multicultural Women’s Alliance Against Family Violence (MWAAFV) hosted a forum on 3 August 2023 at the Victorian Parliament as part of its ongoing advocacy towards establishing Victoria’s first culturally specific women’s refuge and more support services for multicultural communities.
Present at the forum were family violence service providers, community advocates, policymakers, and Members of the Victorian Parliament.
Prominent attendees included Ms Cindy McLeish (Shadow Minister for Women / Family Violence), Dr Samantha Ratnam (Victorian Greens Leader), Ms Molina Asthana (Deputy Chair), Dr Sabi Kaphle (Chair), Ms Cindy McLeish (Member for Eildon Liberal VIC), Mr Nathan Lambert MP, Mr Matthew Hilakari MP, and Ms Ann Milne (Advisor to Minister Ros Spence, Family Violence).
Ruchika Rawat, Secretary of Multicultural Women’s Alliance Against Family Violence, said in a statement:
“We formed this Alliance as a coalition concerned with the lack of culturally specific and appropriate family violence services in Victoria.”
Ms Rawat added:
“Victoria has a diverse socio-cultural fabric. The multicultural communities’ members, leaders, and grass-root organisations know how to best bring a positive change in their communities. The Forum brought together diverse voices to collaborate and co-design.”
The Forum on funding solutions for culturally specific services to address family violence and empower women; brought forward diverse ideas and passion.
The solutions advocated were:
- Using an intergenerational family approach that includes men, women, girls, and boys. It is in the family context that behavioural programs and support services are most effective.
- Encouraging young and older persons from culturally diverse communities to train as counsellors, and advocates to participate in the design of services and policy.
- Work towards community awareness and support in their own languages and cultural contexts.
This Forum also identified key barriers faced by grass root organizations.
MWAAFV is a coalition concerned with the lack of culturally specific and appropriate family and domestic violence services in Victoria.
Their members comprise multicultural community leaders and representatives working across the family and domestic violence sector.
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