Refugee families arrive in Australia full of hope, ready to embrace freedom, opportunity and a brand new life.
But domestic violence can get in the way of family happiness.
ARA’s Community Educators can change this – but only with your support. Will you please help us?
Domestic violence is a universal problem that affects all communities - in fact one in three Australian women have experienced violence. But the challenges of settlement increase the risk of domestic violence for refugee women.
Sadly, refugee women are staying silent about domestic violence.
Refugee women are less likely to report domestic violence, staying silent due to cultural expectations and a need to ‘keep the family together’. They are afraid to speak out, unsure where to turn.
But with help from you and ARA, things can change.
Our exceptional volunteer Community Educators work with refugee communities on the frontline to build stronger, safer families.
People like Ibrahim*, who is getting to the heart of the problem, connecting and working closely with refugee men to create change, and people like Mila*, who made sure Jaia* got the help she needed to build a stronger, safer family.
The Building Stronger, Safer Communities (BSSC) Program helps change lives and rebuild relationships.
Our Community Educators work hand in hand with us, educating community members about domestic violence prevention, and stopping violence before it escalates. But government funding for this program has now ended – putting family happiness in jeopardy.
We need your help to continue this ground-breaking program in South Australia.
We need to train another 10 Community Educators in the next 12 months, at a cost of $25,000. Will you please donate generously towards our training program?
Your gift today will help fund this highly effective, early intervention program.
In the past two years more than 267 people from 20 different communities have directly benefited from 27 community led information sessions, events and consultations with ARA and other supportive agencies. Importantly, there is a ‘ripple effect’ after these events, with information flowing on through word of mouth and communication by respected community leaders.
ARA information sessions, led by highly trained volunteer Community Educators like Ibrahim, cover topics such as healthy relationships, personal safety and wellbeing, culture, values and identity – topics that open a door to the hidden problem of domestic violence.
We need your help to educate men and support refugee women and children. We want to reduce domestic violence and empower families with new strategies for living in a stronger and safer way.
Will you please donate generously?
Donations can be made online hereMonthly donations can be setup here
*names have been changed to protect privacy
“Australia has given me and my family so much. Now I can give back, too.” Loving young father and Community Educator, Ibrahim arrived in South Australia from Sierra Leone in 2007 along with his young wife, Sarai*. Having left a dangerous war zone for the safety of Australia, Ibrahim quickly found his place as a leader in the local Sierra Leone community. People engaged with his warm, generous nature and he has made many connections with men, gaining their respect and trust. Ibrahim has always been drawn to community work and making a difference. He is a leader in the local Sierra Leone community, Soccer Coach and Mentor – and now, an exceptional Community Educator. “The Community Educator training from ARA was wonderful. I saw how I could really help my community. I learned how to identify when domestic violence was happening and most importantly, how to use my skills to build trust. I ask – what is getting in the way of happiness? What is preventing you from being a happy family? Many men are now happy to open up and talk to me about what is happening at home and we can work together to create stronger, safer families. “I especially enjoy helping families with young children. Hearing about how family violence affects young children can have a big impact on men. It’s a powerful reminder of how important it is to have a safe, strong family life. “Anything I can do, I will. Like many others, I want to give back to Australia. Now as a Community Educator, I know how I can make a real difference.”
With your help, we can train more skilled, caring Educators like Ibrahim.
Mila* met Jaia* when she presented an education session on Women’s Health. Trained to listen and observe for the subtle, unspoken signs of family domestic violence, Community Educator, Mila could see the pain behind Jaia’s eyes. She saw Jaia cast her eyes down when certain topics were discussed. She noticed how Jaia kept herself isolated from others in the room. She instinctively knew Jaia wanted to talk, but didn’t know how to open up. As Jaia gathered her four young children together to leave, Mila suggested they meet for a cup of tea at the community centre the following week. She resisted, but Mila’s kind, gentle approach won Jaia over. The following week, Jaia poured her story out to Mila. She was desperate to talk. Her husband Isaak* was not settling into life in Australia. He did not understand or accept that his wife had new rights in Australia - opportunities to enjoy independence. She wanted to study a creative course at the local TAFE to gain employment. She wanted to learn to drive. “I did not know what to do. So I hid my sadness. Thanks to Mila I felt safe to ask for help and now things are much better. The children are much happier. My husband is letting me learn to drive and I have more independence. I don’t know how I would have coped without Mila.” - Jaia After gaining Jaia’s trust, Mila visited her to talk about how she could feel safer at home and learned more about the situation for Jaia and the children. She connected Jaia and Isaak with a case worker for counselling. She helped Jaia take steps towards independence, such as getting a drivers’ licence, enrolling in a TAFE course and setting up a bank account. Jaia’s story is very familiar to Mila – she has heard it many times over. A qualified health worker in her home country of Iraq, Mila jumped at the chance to become a volunteer Community Educator when she moved to Australia. Our Community Educators program really works. But it is under threat. Can you help us?