University of Tasmania

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\Who cares when a temporary visa holder leaves a relationship because of domestic violence?\""

posted on 2023-05-26, 22:38 authored by Campbell, MM
The present study concerns individuals who have a temporary visa and who are obliged to separate from their partner because of domestic violence. These individuals are in a difficult situation in the sense that some of them are not eligible for government income (Centrelink) or health care (Medicare) support. Without formal assistance, these individuals are at risk of becoming destitute, since their sponsor (often their marital partner) generally has no legal obligation to provide financial support and is not held accountable for his or her settlement undertakings towards the applicant. Although a temporary visa holder can make an application for permanent residence following the breakdown of his or her relationship with the sponsor due to domestic violence, the Immigration department does not make any provision for some people in these circumstances to receive income or health care while it assesses their application. The study's overarching aim was thus to establish how these individuals survive and how they are assisted by various crisis and support services currently operating in Tasmania. Secondary aims were to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current government policies pertaining to these individuals and to make recommendations for policy development. The sponsorship process was a particular point of interest. Participants were recruited from a range of agencies located in the (02), (03) and (04) telephone regions of Tasmania. The final sample comprised 10 participants (9 females and 1 male). These participants were purposefully chosen because they were experienced workers in the area of domestic violence and related services and were familiar with the needs of individuals from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background. Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews. Findings from the study indicate the range of services that Tasmanian agencies provide, along with their achievements and their difficulties, as perceived by participants. The findings also raise a number of questions about the adequacy of current government policies in regard to sponsorship and temporary visa holders' access to income support and health care services. Potential avenues for policy development and reform are discussed at the end of the study. Some key recommendations emerging out of the present study are as follows: ‚Äö No-one should be left without income or health care after experiencing domestic violence in a sponsored, intimate relationship; therefore a policy which enables an applicant to apply for permanent residence under the domestic violence provisions should ensure income and health care are provided while the application is assessed; ‚Äö The Australian sponsor should be checked with regard to character, domicile and health (as are eligible New Zealand sponsors), with both groups screened in regard to previous abusive and/or violent behaviour and sponsors held accountable for settlement undertakings; ‚Äö The Department of Immigration should consider applying the domestic violence definitions being used by the federal government, police and Australian public, for the DVP, so that the definitions are congruent. Information about culture, relationship matters, community services and domestic violence should be provided free to the couple in an accessible format as part of dealing with domestic violence.


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Copyright 2008 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MSocWk)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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