Chioma's Story

Part of a series of 16 stories featuring women we have accompanied through the Finding Safety Project, shared for the 16 Days of Activism.

Chioma arrived in Australia from her home country on a student visa. 

While trying to complete her studies at university, Chioma faced what she described as the worst moments in her life. 

Chioma was in an abusive relationship and she was experiencing domestic violence. 

As a temporary visa holder, Chioma feared leaving the relationship and risking her visa status. 

Since Chioma has walked away from the relationship however, she has discovered new freedoms, and believes she can have a bright future as a single mother living in Australia. 

“When there is danger in your life, you really need to find a solution, and the solution is fleeing for your life to where you can find safety. The earlier you find freedom the faster you can move on with your life”, she said. 


Now I can see that I have prospects and plans, and my strategies are working out for me.
Chioma*, client of JRS Australia's Finding Safety Project.

The Finding Safety Project played an important role in empowering Chioma to leave her abusive relationship. 

While our specialist caseworkers coordinate a range of practical supports to assist women on temporary visas, a core part of the work is accompanying women as they reassert their strengths, redefine their futures, and find safety in themselves.

“Moving away was a heap of relief because I was able to sleep that night. I slept very well with the belief that I could live a life of fulfilment. Now I can see that I have prospects and plans, and my strategies are working out for me”, Chioma said. 

Describing her search for freedom, Chioma added: “I found freedom by looking for where I can express myself freely, where I don’t have to be under pressure or constraint or intimidated. That is where I say that there is freedom in this place. Where there is freedom of expression, freedom of life, freedom of association and freedom of religion”. 

*name changed to protect story-teller’s identity

16 Days of Activism

JRS Australia is participating in the call to action presented by the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls. This story has been shared as part of our “16 Days, 16 Stories” Campaign for 2023, focusing on the work we do through our Finding Safety Project to support women on temporary visas who have experienced or are at risk of sexual or gender-based violence. 

We sincerely hope that reading these stories, and learning more about the important work our Finding Safety Project does in the absence of any other coordinated or government support, will inspire you to invest in us, invest in the women we serve, and invest in a future where women and girls are free from all forms of violence.

Visit our 16 Days, 16 Stories campaign page to learn more.