Family violence has increased among Victorian Afghans, community leaders say

Family violence has dramatically increased among Afghan migrant families in Victoria, says Victorian Afghan Associations Network (VAAN).

Afghan women talk about family violence

Source: SBS Dari

The umbrella network of seven community organizations held an advisory meeting of activists and community leaders on Saturday to address the issue.

“We have invited people to consult with them about what is family violence from the community perspective”, said VAAN’s president Nazir Yousufi.

The network that works on a two-year long project funded by Victorian Government says family violence among Victorian Afghan families has significantly increased in the past few years, especially last year.

The project’s aim is to raise awareness about family violence, its various forms as well as legal and mental consequences among the community.

“Our main goal is that in two years we raise awareness among people about what is family violence and what is the law”, said the network’s president.

According to him, in 2018, three Afghan Victorian women have lost their lives to family violence.

“Afghan’s family violence cases with police, child protection, justice system, courts and family court increase day by day”, Mr. Yousufi told SBS Dari.

He also says because of the lack of understanding of Australian law and traditional approach about family violence, some cases are handled unprofessionally.

The main causes

VAAN president
VAAN's president (right) says three Afghan Victorian women have lost their lives to family violence in 2018 Source: SBS Dari

The meeting’s participants believe that gender inequality, culture, traditions, lack of education and understanding of the law, gender stereotypes and men’s desire to dominate and control women and children are the main causes of family violence in Afghan families.

“The first thing that we do to put an end to this issue, is to accept that women are equal human beings and give our daughter’s the right to choose”, said women’s right activist Latifa Rahmani.

“We simply allow our sons to stay out till midnight, but we don’t allow our daughters. No Afghan man will accept this’, she added.

“In three cases occurred in our community, the root causes of those were domination and controlling” said United Cultural Support's president Sadia Ali.

Women are not the only victims

Victorian Afghan's meet to address family violence
Participants said women are not the only victims of family violence Source: SBS Dari

Although most of the participants agreed most of family violence cases are initiated by males, but in some cases men and children are also victims.

Husain Ali Amini, an Islamic scholar who runs a marriage registry office says in some cases, women are the perpetrators.

“Although maybe mostly men are violent, we accept that, but that doesn’t mean women are not violent against men”, Said Mr. Amini.

The participants also say in some cases, older women with traditional believes also cause violence against other women and girls in the families.

3 min read
Published 14 January 2019 at 6:27pm
By Besmillah Mohabbat