- Published: Monday, 14 July 2014 10:07
Australia has a long and proud history of resettling some of the most vulnerable refugee women and their families, however, major gaps in support services for these women have been identified and need to be addressed.
Speaking today in Sydney at the Refugee Women at Risk forum hosted by Settlement Service International (SSI), SSI Manager Humanitarian Services David Keegan said that based on consultations with refugee women, it’s clear the current level of support should be reviewed.
“Research conducted by the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research suggests refugee women in Australia under the Woman Risk visa category experience higher levels of post-traumatic stress and face greater challenges on resettlement,” he said.
As the largest provider of services to refugee women in NSW, SSI has observed that a significant number of refugee women who enter via other visa classes have also suffered extreme physical and sexual violence and trauma prior to their arrival and require higher level specialist support services during settlement in Australia.
“SSI currently supports about 1000 vulnerable women, and consultations with 50 women have highlighted a greater need for support services, particularly in employment, affordable housing, health and education,” Mr Keegan continued.