Muslim Immigrant women in Australia and Domestic Violence

Stream: Legal and Policy Responses to Family and Domestic Violence
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2015
Time: 1.45 pm – 3.30 pm


Despite recognition of the complexities of domestic violence for immigrant women, this is an under-researched issue in Australia. The findings of research on the prevalence of domestic violence against immigrant women are mixed. However, it is clear that cultural values and immigration status enhance the complexities normally involved in domestic violence cases. Muslim women, like other immigrant women, face a wide range of adverse social conditions. There are common stereotypes around the Muslim community in general and particularly in terms of violent behaviour against women. In recent years, some studies have explored the experiences of domestic violence in ethnic minorities in Australia. However, there has been little research focusing on Muslim women. On the other hand, early feminist theories of domestic violence has been challenged as it overlooks the increased vulnerabilities of some women to violence. This study is one of the few to address the immigration –related as well as cultural and religious factors behind Muslim women’s experiences of abuse. Also it is one of few studies which try to apply feminist intersectional theory to domestic violence among immigrant women in general and Muslim women in particular.


Nafiseh Ghafournia (Presenter), The University of Sydney
She received a Graduate certificate in Policy Studies from The University of Sydney in 2009. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in social work at university of Sydney. Her research is on Muslim Immigrant women in Australia and Domestic Violence. She worked as a tutor and research assistant at the University of Newcastle. Her latest publications are “Culture, Domestic Violence and Intersectionality: Beyond the Dilemma of Cultural Relativism and Universalism”, 2014, The International journal of Critical Cultural studies and “Battered at home, played down in policy: Migrant women and domestic violence in Australia”, 2011, Journal of Aggression and violent Behavior.