clashing world views

Shakti Wellington need more help due to increase in migrant and refugee population

After the murders of two migrant women in Wellington due to domestic violence ( Sarwan Lata Singh and Mei Fan) Shakti Wellington opened a refuge in 2014. Last year it it helped over 350 women, with over 200 of their referrals coming from the police. Shakti advocates say they need government funding because of the growing migrant population and because their safe house is at full capacity.

Shakti Community Council is a non-profit organisation serving migrant and refugee women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin. Shakti; meaning strength; works to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women of colour. It supports women to overcome the barriers that come with migration and inter-generational bonds of cultural oppression. Led by ethnic women for ethnic women, Shakti is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights of both women and children and advocating social change.

Shakti-international.org

The government do not fund the safe house despite the government being responsible for the increase in the migrant and refugee population. By increasing the migrant and refugee population they are also increasing the amount of domestic violence.

As the women at Shakti point out in the radio interview, “one size does not fit all” as these women come from a different culture and have a ” different worldview” and have traditional and cultural barriers that they face so mainstream safe houses are not suitable for them. What they will not spell out but what is pretty obvious to me is that they are talking about Muslim migrant women and Muslim refugee women.

It is worth considering that although domestic violence occurs in families from many different ethnicities in New Zealand none of them requires their own special refuge to deal with their ” different worldview.” Ethnicity is clearly not the problem. The problem is the religion or culture of these migrant and refugee women.

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