Marina'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.

Marina is a single mum seeking asylum in Australia with her 3 children. She arrived in Australia from her home country in 2018 with her husband. 

Marina experienced multiple forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) during her marriage. 

When Marina made several reports to the police about her husband, multiple Apprehended Violence Orders were issued against him. 

Nevertheless, when Marina’s husband was released from custody, he would return to their home and physically harm Marina. 

These cycles are incredibly difficult to escape, especially for women like Marina who do not have access to the same supports as an Australian citizen, and are trying to navigate life in a foreign country. 

Prolonged exposure to SGBV has had a serious impact on Marina and her children’s health. 

 “Sometimes I feel like I’m becoming crazy or I should just run to the streets, cry and be alone, but I remember I have to be there for my kids. They have no one else to support them,” Marina said.

The support of the Finding Safety Project, which includes specialist SGBV casework and access to a Women’s Space catered to the needs of children, has been crucial for Marina and her family.

The Finding Safety Project has been able to refer Marina and her children for psychosocial support, and financial assistance to support childcare for Marina’s youngest daughter. 

Marina has also been able to attend training through the JRS Employment program, which offers child-minding services to ensure mothers and carers have equal access to the program.   

Marina is now in a position where she can work, reclaim agency in her life, and support herself and her children towards a brighter future. 

*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.