Opinion

By Rosemary Hamill, Barnardos Senior Manager

As a migrant and a mother, your first priority is to your family and to contribute to your community.

Domestic violence cuts across all communities, but especially those just establishing themselves or only one or two generations old.

Some women feel talking about violence bring shame to themselves, their husband, family and community.

It's a powerful tool used by perpetrators to convince a woman not to get help.

And it's the woan who carries the shame. That's classic in cultures where women are not seen as equal. Women are made to feel responsible.

As a support service we see first hand the serious and growing problem of domestic violence in Australia and the impact of this on children.

Often customs, language barriers and community expectations act as barriers to seeking help. Women may not understand their legal status. They may be told they will be shipped back to their country if they speak out.

When women come to us they are at the point when they see the impact on their children. They don't want their boys to see what their father is doing to their mother.They don't want their girls to see their mother treated badly.

Barnardos will help where we can and governments need to ensure there are services to meet these demands.

(This opinion piece was first published in the Daily Telegraph.)