Analysing Safety and Place in Immigrant and Refugee Experience
The ‘Analysing Safety and Place in Immigrant and Refugee Experience’ (ASPIRE) project is a participatory research project working with communities in eight metropolitan and regional locations in Victoria (5) and Tasmania (3). The project will gather evidence about immigrant and refugee women’s concerns and experiences of family violence.
The ASPIRE Research Team gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support it has received from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) towards this research and, through it, the Australian Government and Australian state and territory governments.
The findings and views on this blog are those of the authors and cannot be attributed to ANROWS or to the Australian Government, or any Australian state or territory government.
Now that data collection for the ASPIRE Project Report has finished, the research team is working hard to analyse the hours of interview material we have collected over the past year. As we work towards producing a report which captures the experiences of immigrant and refugee women, we are also beginning another chapter of ASPIRE called Photovoice: If I could say one thing to my community.
Photovoice is a type of research which brings women together through the process of photography. By taking photographs, participants are encouraged to reflect on and focus their ideas about family violence in Australia. Specifically, we have asked women who feel strongly committed to preventing family violence: what would you want to say if you could speak back to your community? Through their images, and by sharing and discussing them over a number of weeks, participants have autonomy over the direction and representation of their ideas and the messages they want to communicate.
We have already held the first training meeting, which brought women from many of our research sites and from many different backgrounds. It was a fantastic success and we are already looking forward to the next meeting.
We will be holding an exhibition of selected photographs to coincide with the publication of the report and to help translate our findings into meaningful conversations across the Victorian and Tasmanian regions where the research team conducted our research.
If you live in Victoria or can get to Melbourne for our launch, put 9 December 2016 in your calendar.
The event was hosted by Her Excellency, Professor, The Honourable Kate Warner AO who is a strong advocate of gender equality in Tasmania and nationally. Other speakers included Alina Thomas, Executive Officer of SHE; Cheryl White, poet; and Sarah Van Est, author of the report.
Dr Murray outlined the progress of the ASPIRE project, and the barriers that women of refugee and migrant background face when accessing services in Tasmania and Victoria.
The eight volume full report includes a section reporting the Commission’s findings in regard to culturally and linguistically diverse communities (see section 28). The ASPIRE research team are pleased to find that our State of Knowledge paper published by ANROWS is cited several times throughout this part of the report.
The report states that the “Commission heard that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to preventing family violence is not successful for CALD communities” and outlines the numerous barriers and difficulties women from culturally diverse and migrant backgrounds experience in response to family violence.
Presently, the ASPIRE research team are moving into the data analysis phase of the project and will pay close attention to the outcomes of the Commission’s work in the coming weeks and months. We look forward to presenting our findings later this year so that we may contribute to the systemic improvement of family violence responses and prevention initiatives for migrant women and their communities.
It is a privilege to be participating in the inaugural conference for Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) this week.
The conference is showcasing current ANROWS and Australian research and yesterday Dr Cathy Vaughan and Dr Adele Murdolo presented key learnings and preliminary findings from the ASPIRE Project.
Evidence is crucial to informing policy and practice in addressing violence against women and we look forward to sharing ideas and learning more about how the research will be translated into effective policies, programs and strategies.
The conference is also a wonderful opportunity to share experiences with other researchers working across Australia to shine light on many important issues and themes including women’s experiences of violence and its impact on their lives; gender inequality and primary prevention; service responses and interventions; and how systems can work better together to reduce violence against women and their children.
The ASPIRE project has received a wonderful start to 2016 with the publication of a methods paper, which provides a clear outline of the ASPIRE research project, its background, methods and approach.
ASPIRE is a multi-site community-based participatory research project, and we hope that by sharing our relatively unique approach we can encourage researchers to consider engaging with bilingual and bicultural workers as invaluable resources in cross-cultural research. The paper will also be a useful document for the project team to refer back to and reflect on at the completion of the project.
You can access the article here in BMC Public Health, or find the full citation below.
Vaughan, C., Murdolo, A., Murray, L., Davis, E., Chen, J., Block, K., … & Warr, D. (2015). ASPIRE: A multi-site community-based participatory research project to increase understanding of the dynamics of violence against immigrant and refugee women in Australia. BMC public health, 15(1), 1.
The ASPIRE Research team have been busy bees over the past few weeks conducting interviews with key informant service providers and running focus groups in Victoria and Tasmania.
The focus groups for Victoria are progressing very well and we have our schedule organised to complete this important part of the research in the coming weeks. We have nearly completed all key informant interviews in Victoria and Tasmania, but will add in a few more as we continue to progress our data collection.
Most recently, we have conducted ten focus groups during visits to Hobart/Glenorchy and Launceston. This process involved providing a two day training program in qualitative research with local bicultural/bilingual experts who then assisted to organise and facilitate focus groups with various cultural communities. Ten groups are now complete in Tasmania and a couple more are in the pipelines for the near future.
Many thanks to the Australian Red Cross (Tasmania) and the Migrant Resource Centre Southern for their immense support and assistance with linking us to these local experts and communities.
It was an absolute pleasure to run training and conduct focus groups with the bicultural workers. Below is a photo from a training activity with the bicultural workers about the skills and self-care strategies that they bring to this project. This reflects an important part of the ASPIRE Project – building up our research skills and taking care of ourselves and each other!
Interviews with women who have experienced violence
Interviews with immigrant and refugee women who have experienced family violence themselves are also progressing well. We are receiving referrals for interviewees through our network of service providers and community leaders.
As we would like to interview women with a wide range of experiences to ensure rich and robust data outcomes, there are no longer any site-based limitations to referrals.
Immigrant and refugee women living in Victoria or Tasmania could be referred or make direct contact with us if they would like to find out more about being involved in a confidential interview.
Please visit our earlier blog post for more information about interview criteria and how to refer.