Australia has settled over 30,000 Sudanese refugees (Australian Bureau of Statists (ABS), 2012, p.1). Refugee settlement has brought challenges, specifically, the rise of domestic violence (DV) . The increase has been reported in all societies including the South Sudanese community (ABS, 2017). DV is complexed due to the hesitance of formal reporting by victims (ABS,2017, p.3). Although research has shown an increase in domestic violence in many societies, none has examined the one among South Sudanese women in Marangaroo 6064. Specifically, the barriers these women face in formally reporting DV (Fisher, 2013).
The purpose of this proposal is to fill the above gap and to develop intervention programmes specifically tailored to meet the needs for South Sudanese women. This gap will be studied qualitatively using interpretive phenomenological approach with open-ended interview techniques. The results will be shared with service providers in the Perth metropolitan area to raise awareness of South Sudanese women’s needs.
DV: Domestic violence.
IPA: Integrative phenological approach.
SS; South Sudanese.
Australia being a country that believes in human rights, fairness and equality, it could be assumed that the system is well equipped to cater for the immigrant’s families and therefore issues like domestic violence do not exist. However, domestic violence is on the rise in Australia with higher rates among the immigrant community (Fisher, 2013, p. 5). DV is a significant cause of disability, poor health and can be fatal. DV it is a societal problem that requires immediate attention.
This explanatory proposal aims at solving a sociatal problem, specifically the barriers to formal reporting of domestic violence among the SS women, in Marangaroo 6064.( see appendix 1 for map of marangaroo). Marangaroo is a geographical community with a demographic population of 10,518 and 44.3% being migrants (ABS 2017, P.2). The studies will be conducted qualitatively using interpretive phenomenological approach with open-ended interview techniques, to create an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of the SS women. The study structure includes an abstract, introduction, presentation of research problems, literature review, conceptual framework, methodology, analyses and presentation of results and ethics.
As per this proposal, domestic violence refers to aggressive behaviour by an intimate partner (Fisher, 2013). South Sudanese migrant’s women refer to women between 19-60 who migrated to Australia from Sudan on humanitarian visa and barriers refer to obstacles that prevent access ( Owen ; Carrington, 2015).
Aims and significance of the study
This explanatory proposal aims to identify the barriers that hinder formal reporting of domestic violence by SS women in Marangaroo 6064. It is expected that by the end of this study, the findings will enable service providers to design intervention programs explicitly targeting SS women, and thus enhance inclusion of this minority group in the society. The study findings will be shared among Western Australian service providers to create awareness, to empower and help meet the needs of this vulnerable group holistically (Owen ; Carrington,2015).
The purpose of this literature review is to find a gap. A gap is refers to an area that is not yet researched (Walter,2013, p. 29). Domestic violence is a sensitive issue that requires an in-depth understanding I, therefore, conducted a narrative literature review to explore immigrants experiences on domestic violence.
Many studies have examined the domestic violence among the African immigrant societies. Among them is a study conducted by Fisher (2013), in Perth on the interrelationship between domestic violence and family role. This qualitative study with 54 members from Sudan Somalia, Liberian and Ethiopia findings were that in traditional patriarchal societies the males are the head of the family (Charlesworth 2005, p.10). Through the rise of feminism and migration, women have access to their working rights. This empowerment has lead to male loss of status as breadwinner. This loss of roles leads to domestic violence among many migrants including the SS women (Fisher, 2013, p. 5).
This study, however, has not presented why with education and economic empowerment domestic violence is still prevalent and underreported among the immigrant communities. Ragusa (2013), argues that western development should not serve as a model for the rest of the world. He explains further that, the western model assumes that migrant women automatically enjoy female empowerment and less violence when they migrate (Cockburn, 2010, p.140).
Jayusuriya, (2018), also conducted a study in Canada qualitatively, involving a group of Latino women from the African and Asian background the finding was first, when people of colour and immigrant communities experience domestic violence it is assumed the violence is culturally influenced (p.46). Instead of concentrating on the offender’s behaviour the whole community is stereotyped. (Sokoloff & Dupont, 2005). For example, in Australia, the media has currently created a moral panic about the Sudanese gang.
A similar study was conducted qualitatively by Scott, Averbach, Modest, Hacher, Cornish, Spencer& Parma (2013) approaching gender-based violence universally. The study found that the South Sudanese women experienced severe domestic violence since the time they were in African camp and they refer to the violence as a typical family misunderstanding that does not require formal reporting. This study was generic therefore the data was so populated.
Moreover, Crips, Epstem, Afrouz & Taket, (2018) studied the role of religion domestic violence involving refugee women from an Islamic and Jewish background in Perth. The finding were that religious beliefs can impact the formal reporting of DV among the refugee women. From the data collected the finding the barrier was 20% love their partner, 24% believed their partner would change, 50% divorce stigma while others felt embarrassed about unforgiveness. Although the study demonstrates how religion can hinder formal reporting of DV, it is not specific on help-seeking altitudes of SS women.
Additionally, Oduke (2016) carried a similar study in Nigeria, and his findings were similar concerning patriarchy and violence. He found that culturally many African marriages are dowry bonded. This bondage makes chances of women exit very minimal (Oduke, 2016).
A similar study conducted in South Australia (domestic violence in refugee family) by Susan and Bob, in 2007 qualitatively, with the aim of examining the interrelatedness between culture and domestic violence, some of the barriers found included, fear of retaliation from the perpetrator, shame and rejection from the community and stigma, Others expressed fear of being financially disadvantaged (Davis 2008, p80). This study assumes that all immIgrants experience to DV is similar. There is a need to conduct research that is cultural-specific.
Another study was conducted by Ogunsiji, Wilkes, Jackson and Peters (2012). The qualitative study objective was to find the connection between family violence and spouse visas. With 26 immigrant women from West Africa this study was finding how reliance on abuse partner for a visa can act as barriers to seeking help (Allimant & Ostapiej, 2011, P.5) The study, however, does not explain however why DV is still prevalent and underreported among the SS women who own Australian Citizenship. There is, therefore, a need to conduct further studies on this area.
Another study conducted by ABS, 2017, quantitatively in Australia, including refugee women from Africa, Asia and South America indicated that Only 2% of the 22% women interviewed had reported the violence to the police. The women disclosed that there is fear of being doubted by the police who are perceived as brutal. (Allison 2014, p80).
Illesignghe, 2018 studied a group of migrant’s women using mixed methods with the aim of finding to what extent migrants suffered domestic violence and their help-seeking behaviour. The findings were 50% experienced verbal and physical assault; however, none was reported. Clearly there is a need of conducting a cultural related study to find the barriers to formal reporting of DV.
Although Australian migrant’s facilities seem prepared to cater for the growing needs of multiculturalism societies, there is a need for care workers to have enough competency in the help-seeking behaviour of the South Sudan women (Ragusa, 2013). Based on the above literature review there is a population-based gap that needs to be addressed. Population gap refers to the people that have not been researched (Walter, 2013, p.35). The studies above all focused on the formal reporting of DV among all African immigrats women in a generic manner none have examined SS women in Marangaroo 6064. The studies have portrayed all African women as experiencing DV in a similar manner. Thus, they do not represent the diversity, and unique cultural standard among the African communities.
o What are the barriers that South Sudanese women in Marangaroo 6064 observe when formally reporting domestic violence?
This research theoretical standpoint is interpretave paradigm specifically, interpretive phemelogical approach (IPA).This theory is based on the epistemology of shared constructionism. Interprevist theory assumes that people create meanings through social interactions (Walter, 2013, p. 17). IPA will explore indepthly how the SS in marangaroo 6064, experience and interprete formal report of domestic violence.
This study will be conducted using qualitative research method specifically, interpretive phenomenological approach. IPA will be applied directly through conducting open ended question to understand the way the SS experience formal report of domestic violence( see appendix 3). This will create an understanding of perception formation of the SS women as they socialise in the environment where domestic violence occurs.
The tool that will be employed for data collection is interviews. The interviews will contain five open-ended question with prompts to ensure the session is under control (see appendix 4). The interviews will be overt with semi-structured talks included. One advantage of using the interview is to enable the victims to speak up because domestic violence is a constructed concept and a sensitive issue ( Walter 2013, p 27). An information letter will be provided to the participants together with concern forms which will be signed by the researcher and the participants before commencing the interview (see Appendix 3). The interviews are expected to last between 40 to 45 minutes. The only challenge with interviews is that people may feel intimidated when answering questions in interviews. This intimidation could result in the Hawthorn effect. Hawthorn effect is defined as alternation of behaviour by a participant when under observation (Walter, 2013, p.5). To mitigate this, I will use triangulation. Triangulation assists the invalidation of data collected (Walter2013, p.5I ). This will be promoting the participants and steering them in the right direction during the interview. Flyers, emails, and other social media platforms will be used to generate information about the research.
My sampling technique will be purposive alongside snowball. Purposive is a qualitative non-probability sampling. This method is based on the understanding that not all respondents may be willing to open up to sensitive issues such as domestic violence (DiCicco-Bloom, & Crabtree, 2006 p.18). The sample population will be south Sudanese women residing in Marangaroo 6064. My units of study will be South Sudan women who have experienced DV. I am using purposive sampling because it is based on knowledge about the population alongside snowball sampling so the original participants can inspire others to participate in the study. I will triangulate by combining purposive and snowball because one of the limitations of purposive sampling is the likelihood of biased sample such same family race (Englander 2014, p15).
Based on the nature of my interview topic I would like to gain an in-depth understanding of the participant’s narratives therefore, I will use qualitative data which will be organised and coded into the appropriate category to capture the key point during the coding process. The Nvivo software will be used to support the tracing process. A frame will be earlier developed to support the coding.
Flexibility refers to the act of self-reference (Walter, 2013.p.13 ). As I conduct this study, I am working as a community enrolled nurse with Sudanese immigrant women who have recently had babies and this might influence my axiology. Secondly, I am a black immigrant woman studying other black immigrant women and my ontological connection with this group may influence the study. To mitigate this gap, the study will be peer-reviewed.
Dissemination of results
The outcome of the study will be disseminated using emails. The participants will be provided with a copy of the outcomes. Such copies will be sent via emails. The output will also be shared with policy makers including agencies that protect women from domestic violence. (DiCicco, ; Crabtree 2006 p316).
This study will observe ethical considerations because it involves a vulnerable group. Ethics refer to set moral of standards (Walter, 2013, p. 5). I will ensure the right of all participants is observed to avoid victimisation . Before the commencement of the interview, the participant will be informed about the research and concert form signed by the participants and the researcher. (see appendix 4 for concept form). All the participants will be of legal age. Confidentiality will also be verbally offered, and pseudonyms will be used to de-identify. The data collected will be stored in password locked computers with the name deidentified. The data collected will be shredded after five years. This research is self-funded (see appendix 6 for the budget).
Domestic violence has currently become an issue of high concern. Immigrants face double jeopardy when experiencing DV because of the lack of legal knowledge and other related barriers. The SS women in Marangaroo 6064 face DV in various way such as physical, social and even sexual abuse. Most of this domestic violence goes unreported. Although Australia is well equipped with immigrant’s faucitis for seeking help, there is a lack of enough understanding of the SS women help-seeking behaviour and formal reporting of DV. The previous studies are very generic and present All African immigrants as similarly experiencing DV. There is an urgent need to conduct a study specifically on SS women in Marangaroo 6064. It is anticipated that the study will help the SS women to seek help when experiencing DV.