The Immigrant Women’s Support Service (IWSS) is a specialist domestic violence and sexual assault service that provides direct support to women and their children from non-English speaking backgrounds who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence.
Our services are
- Free of charge – we are government funded
- Confidential – we respect your right to privacy and confidentiality
- Culturally sensitive – we are aware of the impact of pre and post migration experience; we are respectful of cultural diversity; and we’ll engage interpreters to ensure appropriate communication
- Provide you with a safe and supportive space to talk about your concerns
- Listen to your story without judging you
- Talk to you about your rights and options available to you so you can make your own informed decisions
- Provide you with information about the services we provide, e.g. one-off or ongoing support, counselling, and facilitated referrals to other services
- Assist you to access other services in relation to legal matters, health issues, accommodation and financial assistance
Support available to you
We provide support services either face to face or over the telephone. A Caseworker will discuss your options with you and can arrange a time to talk with you.
If you are in a situation of crisis and need immediate assistance, we are available from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Crisis support may include:
- Assistance to escape from a situation of domestic violence
- Support in relation to a recent sexual assault or an event that may trigger memories of a past sexual assault
- Help to access supported/crisis accommodation or other housing options
- Urgent legal advice for immigration, family law, criminal matters and domestic violence orders
Ongoing Support through case management
If you need support to negotiate the different support systems we can provide you with ongoing support over a period of time negotiated with you. Ongoing support may include:
- Support to report sexual assault
- Assistance to access the court system for domestic violence orders, family law, criminal matters such as rape and assault; accessing legal advice for immigration and other matters
- Support to access health services, housing, financial assistance
Counselling is available to assist you to assess your needs, setting goals, consider your options, discuss your safety and other concerns, talk about your feelings, access other services that you may require and plan for the future.
If you have a child or children
We can discuss with you the impact of domestic violence on children, how to keep you and your children safe, and facilitate access to services available to children.
If you have a child who has been sexually abused, we can help you to report the abuse, and to access support services for your child.
We offer community education sessions to groups interested in finding out about domestic violence and sexual violence, services provided by IWSS, the law in Australia and other topics as negotiated.
Specialist knowledge support for service providers
Given our experience in providing support services to immigrant and refugee women and children who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual violence, we are well positioned to provide specialist knowledge to service providers including:
- Information on multicultural resources and services
- Resources and information in community languages
- Service development on working with interpreters, making services culturally appropriate and responsive to diverse community groups