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"Who cares when a temporary visa holder leaves a relationship because of domestic violence?"


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Campbell, MM 2008 , '"Who cares when a temporary visa holder leaves a relationship because of domestic violence?"', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The present study concerns individuals who have a temporary visa and who are
obliged to separate from their partner because of domestic violence. These
individuals are in a difficult situation in the sense that some of them are not
eligible for government income (Centrelink) or health care (Medicare) support.
Without formal assistance, these individuals are at risk of becoming destitute,
since their sponsor (often their marital partner) generally has no legal obligation
to provide financial support and is not held accountable for his or her settlement
undertakings towards the applicant. Although a temporary visa holder can make
an application for permanent residence following the breakdown of his or her
relationship with the sponsor due to domestic violence, the Immigration
department does not make any provision for some people in these
circumstances to receive income or health care while it assesses their
application. The study's overarching aim was thus to establish how these
individuals survive and how they are assisted by various crisis and support
services currently operating in Tasmania. Secondary aims were to assess the
strengths and weaknesses of current government policies pertaining to these
individuals and to make recommendations for policy development. The
sponsorship process was a particular point of interest.
Participants were recruited from a range of agencies located in the (02), (03)
and (04) telephone regions of Tasmania. The final sample comprised 10
participants (9 females and 1 male). These participants were purposefully
chosen because they were experienced workers in the area of domestic
violence and related services and were familiar with the needs of individuals
from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background. Data was
collected by means of semi-structured interviews.
Findings from the study indicate the range of services that Tasmanian agencies
provide, along with their achievements and their difficulties, as perceived by
participants. The findings also raise a number of questions about the adequacy
of current government policies in regard to sponsorship and temporary visa
holders' access to income support and health care services. Potential avenues
for policy development and reform are discussed at the end of the study.
Some key recommendations emerging out of the present study are as follows:
• No-one should be left without income or health care after experiencing
domestic violence in a sponsored, intimate relationship; therefore a policy
which enables an applicant to apply for permanent residence under the
domestic violence provisions should ensure income and health care are
provided while the application is assessed;
• The Australian sponsor should be checked with regard to character, domicile
and health (as are eligible New Zealand sponsors), with both groups
screened in regard to previous abusive and/or violent behaviour and
sponsors held accountable for settlement undertakings;
• The Department of Immigration should consider applying the domestic
violence definitions being used by the federal government, police and
Australian public, for the DVP, so that the definitions are congruent.
Information about culture, relationship matters, community services and
domestic violence should be provided free to the couple in an accessible
format as part of dealing with domestic violence.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Campbell, MM
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2008 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MSocWk)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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