Shakti publishes new handbook for migrant & refugee youth experiencing family violence

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The Shakti Youth Unit has developed a new handbook for migrant and refugee youth experiencing family violence.

The 'Break Free' handbook includes practical information on housing, jobs, study, relationships and immigration to assist migrant and refugee youth to navigate life after escaping violence.

Mengzhu Fu, Project Cordinator, said “Even though we specifically focus on the experiences of migrant and refugee youth, there is no doubt that family violence happens across cultures. However, there are specific experiences, issues and practices that need attention in immigrant communities, such as intergenerational cultural conflicts, forced marriage, and what has been called ‘honour-based’ violence. This handbook covers in more detail what this looks like.”

The handbook includes information about culturally specific examples of unacceptable behaviours and practices to help young people recognise the signs of abuse. It also includes supportive messages shared by migrant and refugee youth.

The handbook is free for young people who access Shakti’s services and is available for purchase from Shakti Youth.

Related news

Shakti is speaking out against Government declining to fund Shakti's specialist family violence refuge for migrants in Wellington. Shakti said the refuge supported more than 350 women last year, including more than 200 referrals from police.

Media reported that Ministry of Social Development deputy chief executive Murray Edridge said mainstream refuge services were able to meet the needs of refugee and migrant women, a view shared by the national Women’s Refuge organisation. However Shakti's Wendy Vyas said "I'm a survivor myself, and I've lived in a mainstream refuge, and my life came to a halt in that time."

Shakti's Wendy Vyas and Mengzhu Fu spoke on Radio NZ about the specific needs of migrant and refugee women.

Shakti also has services in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch.

Related research and resources

For information and research about migrant youth experiences of intimate partner violence see the following articles in the NZFVC library:

Media

Break Free - a lifeline for ethnic youth, Radio NZ, 27.03.2017