Deepa'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.

Deepa*’s family spent a lot of money to support her and her husband to study in Melbourne. Deepa was training to work in aged care, and building a life for herself in a new country. 

With so many people invested in her success, Deepa felt ashamed to disclose that her husband was subjecting her to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). 

Deepa faced physical, verbal, emotional, and financial abuse in her marriage, which affected her physical and psychological well being, and threatened to undermine the agency she had over her life. 

We were at a festival. I kept calm because I didn’t want our friends to notice that there was something going on.
Deepa*, client of JRS Australia's Finding Safety Project

One night, after a festival, the violence escalated and her neighbours called the police. 

After that, even though Deepa felt safer away from her husband, Deepa’s family and friends in Melbourne shunned her and blamed her for involving the police.

Deepa showed incredible strength in deciding to leave this environment and seek help. She moved to Sydney, where she now lives in a women’s refuge. 

Deepa was referred to the Finding Safety Project for specialised SGBV casework. In addition to practical financial, psychosocial and legal supports, the Finding Safety Project’s Women’s Space provides DEepa with access to a community of women who validate, believe in and support her.

*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.