“What happens there ... follows us here”: Resettled but Still at Risk: Refugee Women and Girls in Australia
UNHCR’s Women at Risk Program is designed to identify and respond to refugee women at extreme risk in countries of asylum who are in desperate need of resettlement. Many women who have been resettled under this program have been raped or faced forced engagement in survival sex, forced marriage, pregnancy, and childbirth as a result of rape. Drawing on a decade of research undertaken by the authors across 18 international sites, this article explores the experience of refugee women at risk resettled to Australia. It discusses the impacts of sexual violence on their settlement, including those of shame and stigma. It identifies that, while for some women at risk, resettlement offers hoped for safety and protection, for others the abuses they faced prior to resettlement resurface and are compounded by new risks and violations of their rights. It introduces a risk assessment tool designed to assist service providers to identify and respond to these risks.
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