By Adela Oakdon
One of the most pressing social problems of our time is the scourge of domestic and family violence. It is an issue that cuts across a range of social demographics and different age groups. It is an issue that does not discriminate in that it affects women of all cultural backgrounds. The prevalence of this issue has disproportionately impacted on the Filipina population in Australia, many of whom have migrated to Australia to join or marry their Australian partner.
Unfortunately, the significant rise of reported domestic incidents in Australia over the past decade has placed many Filipinas in Australia at risk of family violence or worse. Consider the case of Filipina Charma Annear who was murdered by her Australian husband Mervyn Annear in 2016. Ms Annear’s death came after a sustained period of domestic abuse inflicted upon her by her Australian husband. At the time of her death Ms Annear was in a new relationship and 5 months pregnant.
In the interest of protecting all women in Western Australia, the Filipino Health Workers Association (FAHWA Inc) in conjunction with the Peel Multicultural Centre recently hosted a domestic violence presentation given by a local Perth lawyer, a committee member of FAHWA, Alan Gomes, Barrister and Solicitor.
The presentation focused on the issue of domestic violence, what constitutes domestic violence, how to apply for a Restraining Order, immigration concerns, accommodation services in addition to holistic and counselling services that are available to victims of domestic violence.
Mr Gomes said, “that the most important thing is to protect yourself from an abusive partner and have good support around you”.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, then it is important to get help sooner rather than later.
For 24/7 assistance in Australia call 1800RESPECT or 1800 737 732.
For emergencies, call Police on 000.
For legal help, contact Legal Aid on 1300 650 579.
FAHWA Mobile: 0422 617 361
FAHWA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s DV Helpline: 9223 1188
Crisis Care (Available 24 hours) on 9223 1111
Community Legal Centre – Peel Community Legal Centre: 9581 4511