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Many women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who live in Australia and are experiencing domestic violence may not be fully aware of their rights or the law in Australia.  The amount of information women may have will vary and may depend on the length of time they have been living in Australia, their comprehension of the English language, whether they have supportive family or social networks and their level of economic independence.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and are not a permanent resident of Australia, there are immigration policies that may assist you should you leave a relationship or marriage.  The domestic violence provisions of Australia's migration program allow certain people applying for permanent residence in Australia to continue with their application after the breakdown of their spouse or partner relationship if they, or a member of their family unit, have experienced domestic violence committed by their spouse or de facto partner. The domestic violence provisions were introduced in response to community concerns that some spouses and partners might feel compelled to remain in abusive relationships rather than end the relationship and be forced to leave Australia.  Under the Migration Regulations domestic violence is defined as:
" Violence against the alleged victim or his or her property that causes the alleged victim or a member of the alleged victim's family to fear for or to be apprehensive about the alleged victim's personal well-being or safety.  Violence includes the threat of violence."
You will need to supply evidence to prove the existence of the relationship and that domestic violence has occurred. The Domestic Violence Prevention Centre can provide further information and support. 
For further information about the Department of Immigration & Citizenship Family Violence Provisions: 



Department of Home Affairs


Multicultural Families Organisation
79B Scarborough Street, Southport QLD 4215
 (07) 5571 0381



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