Meet Josephine Rechichi - Project Coordinator of the JRS Finding Safety Project; a project hosted at JRS' Women’s Space
I began my role as Coordinator of the JRS Finding Safety Project in December 2020 after having spent the previous 10 years within the community services sector working with women with lived experience of violence, disadvantage, discrimination, isolation and poverty.
I was drawn to the Finding Safety Project because it is a key ‘missing piece’ to the service sector puzzle- bridging the knowledge, capacity and practise gap between the asylum seeker, migrant and refugee sector and the domestic and family violence sector. I was also particularly fascinated by the prevention, empowerment, leadership and co-design components that make this project so unique.
As Project Coordinator, I lead a team of specialist Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) practitioners committed to supporting women at risk of, or experiencing SGBV. This includes domestic and family violence, forced and early marriage, sexual violence, immigration-facilitated abuse, coercive control, gender discrimination, female genital mutilation and modern forms of slavery.
Our project team consists of two caseworkers and a project worker who share an intersectional understanding of the complex forms of violence and barriers to support that women seeking asylum and women on temporary visas face. We believe in upholding the dignity and rights of all women and aim to prevent further SGBV by addressing the drivers of violence at a whole of community and an individual level.
Women seeking asylum, refugees and those on temporary visas are some of the most resilient people within our community. They have faced unimaginable fear, violence and systemic discrimination and yet still possess an unrelenting drive and determination to provide their loved ones with safety, security and the ability to thrive in a new home. Our role is to shine a light on the attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and systems which perpetuate gender-based discrimination and condone violence against women. Using an intersectional gendered lens, we acknowledge the particularly complex structural and systemic barriers faced by women seeking asylum, women of colour and culturally and linguistically diverse women.
In keeping with the JRS mission, I aim to lead through service, to amplify the voices of those with lived experience and to advocate for a compassionate, justice-driven approach to addressing gender inequality which is always where violence against women begins.
JRS’ Finding Safety Project operates from the JRS Women’s Space on Victoria Rd, Parramatta. Learn more about this work here. To make an appointment or to find out information about our service, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org