Advocacy, empowerment, and independence.
The motto to an initiative that helps female victims of domestic violence in Queensland.
Sakina is an NGO network of professionals and community action teams countering domestic violence among culturally and linguistically diverse families.
It is Queensland’s first domestic violence refuge to meet such needs.
They aim to provide a tranquil, safe space and shelter for Muslim women and their children.
“I came to Sakina because I had no one here in Australia. I didn’t know anything” Sakina client, Fatima Adam says.
Sakina helps empower women in making choices that will assist them in the process of independence and liberation from violent relationships.
“When women leave a bad relationship, a domestic violence relationship, they are usually disempowered. Most of the time they had been controlled in a way they cannot make their own decisions. So when they come to the shelter they need confidence building” Sakina case worker, Rosul Aziz says.
Sakina provides clients with an orientation of the local area, helps them with public transport, provides them with suitable housing, and access to welfare and emergency funds.
“Thats where independence comes in. We give them an orientation of the services, and then we encourage them to do these things on their own” Rosul says.
The domestic violence refuge also provides legal support to their clients.
“We give them legal aid… domestic violence support. If they need to take a domestic violence order out against their partner for protection, we help them approach legal aid, and help them with whatever process they need to go through legal aid, like filling out applications”.
“We carry them through these things because sometimes they might not understand, especially when they are from CALD backgrounds” she says.
One client gives Sakina a big thank you for the support she received from their organisation.
“They helped me with a lot of things like living, food, money, and clothing. They helped me in every way possible and I would like to thank them for coming up with this idea, I thank them a lot” Adam says.