The “We Are Here Too” campaign seeks to address the alarming rise in incidents of domestic and gender-based violence against migrant women and raise awareness about supports available for women finding themselves in such circumstances.
What is gender-based violence?
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (A/RES/48/104). The Declaration defines violence against women as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’.
About the campaign
The "We Are Here Too" campaign is a project of Migrant Women na hÉireann, a collective of dozens of grassroots organisations working for the promotion of the status and wellbeing of migrant women in Ireland today, including the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The collective is particularly concerned with the issue of domestic violence and gender-based violence intersecting with immigration statuses. The immigration system at times enables domestic violence, and misogynistic and racist perception of migrant women results in instances of gender-based violence.
We want to start and lead a conversation about the lack of inclusion of migrant specific issues in the national discourse on domestic violence and gender-based violence.
In additional, the current economic and social stresses brought by the pandemic, combined with movement restrictions and cramped homes are driving a surge in gender-based violence, and migrant women are even more exposed to violence.
Domestic violence: Know your rights
No one should be forced to remain in an abusive relationship in order to preserve their permission to remain in the State. "Domestic violence" doesn’t just mean physical violence. It can involve emotional abuse, isolation from family or friends of support networks control of daily routines, such as access to money, personal items, food, outside contact or transport.
If you are the victim of domestic abuse by a dependent family member you may qualify to apply for an independent residency status in the State.
In order to apply for independent status as a victim of domestic violence, the person making the application is required to be in possession of valid immigration permission which is dependent upon a family member. If the Department of Justice is satisfied you are a victim of domestic violence you will be issued you with an independent permission to remain in the State, similar to the permission previously held.
You are not alone!
We also want to reach out to fellow migrant women who may be experiencing domestic violence or gender based violence. We want to tell every migrant woman that may be in this situation that we see you, we hear you and you are not alone.
How to find support
To see supports available for victims of Gender-Based Violence, visit the “Still Here” campaign, an initiative led by the Department of Justice and Equality in collaboration with Women’s Aid, Safe Ireland, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Rape Crisis Network Ireland, National Women’s Council of Ireland, and Men’s Development Network.
If you are looking for information and support on other forms of gender-based violence the following organisations provide a specialises support to:
- Victims of / women and girls at risk of Female Genital Mutilation: info@Akidwa.ie
- Victims of cybercrime: Visit Comparitech.com's guide on dealing with cybercrime
- Domestic workers at risk of violence and rights abuse: info@MRCI.ie
- Immigration support (including support for undocumented women and Stamp 3 holders): Contact the Immigrant Council Helpline
If you are looking for support of women from your community contact the Migrant Women na hÉireann network members (see list below) or get in touch and we'll try to link you with a support network at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel in immediate danger please contact the Gardaí or call 999 or 112.
"I left a house of abuse and humiliation, but I didn’t find peace. I don’t think the system is ready to support migrant women that survive violence."
"I had nowhere to go. I started to doubt myself, I began to think that perhaps things aren't that bad because there is no physical violence..."
"After years of emotional, financial and physical abuse he finally threw me out from the house. I was 8 months pregnant..."
"I want to tell other women in similar situations that this is not their fault, don’t let that situation consume you."
"She threatened to call the immigration services each time I wanted to leave. I felt trapped..."
About Migrant Women na hÉireann
Migrant Women na hÉireann is a collective of dozens of grassroots organisations working for the promotion of the status and wellbeing of migrant women in Ireland today. We stand together seeking equality of participation, protections of our rights, political representation and acknowledgement that we belong and our voice matters. We believe that migrant women are and have been instrumental change makers, creating a more inclusive and equal Irish society.
Migrant Women na hEireann emerged in 2019 as an initiative of several migrant women led community groups. The initial purpose of the initiative was to discuss issues affecting migrant women to formulate an election manifesto ahead of the local and European elections 2019. In the autumn of 2020 the concept of Migrant Women na hEireann was reviewed as a name of a new emerging network of migrant women leaders, and migrant women led organisations.
- Association of Brazilian Families in Ireland
- Bethesda Women Fellowship International
- Dignity Partnership
- Grupo Mulheres do Brasil
- Immigrant Council of Ireland
- Muslim Sisters of Eire
- Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service
- Pakistani Women in Ireland
- Southside Partnership Women’s Programme
- Stamp 3 Association
Join our webinar: 8 December 2020 6.00pm
Many migrant women experiencing domestic abuse face increased barriers accessing support. As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, we are proud to present a webinar to conclude our We Are Here Too campaign in partnership with the Migrant Women na hÉireann network.
The conversation will be led by migrant women who work at the grassroots level to support fellow migrant women experiencing different forms of violence.
Join us online on 8 December 2020 at 6pm. Learn more and register your place by visiting https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/we-are-here-too-webinar-tickets-131076488305