Part of a series of 16 stories featuring women we have accompanied through the Finding Safety Project, shared for the 16 Days of Activism.
Samira arrived in Australia on a visitor’s visa. She eventually married an Australian citizen, who she lived with for seven years.
Throughout the duration of her marriage, Samira was subjected to verbal abuse and coercive control. She was not allowed to leave the house without her husband, learn English, learn how to drive, go to work, or make friends.
Samira endured this abuse because, at the time, she felt she had no other option. Her application for a partner visa had been rejected by the Australian government, which severely limited her options for support and her avenues for independence and self-empowerment.
When the abuse eventually escalated to physical violence, however, Samira did make the decision to leave the situation and stay with family.
In January of 2023, Samira was referred to the JRS Women’s Space for casework, financial assistance, legal advice and community activities. She began to receive financial assistance on a monthly basis, was supported to find employment, and was referred to the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre for legal support.
Samira now takes computer and English classes on a regular basis and engages with enthusiasm and heart in Women’s Space activities including art classes, self-care sessions and community lunches. With JRS staff behind her every step of the way, Samira was able to find a job to support herself, as well as her two sons who still live overseas.
*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.