“Break Free” Handbook to be launched for multicultural youth experiencing family violence
9th March 2017
Shakti Youth Unit is celebrating International Women’s Day this year by launching the “Break Free” handbook for migrant and refugee youth experiencing family violence. The handbook, which is the first of its kind, will be launched at an event hosted by Shakti and partner organisations on the 10th of March at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall.
The “Break Free” resource provides practical information on topics such as housing, jobs, study, relationships and immigration to help migrant and refugee youth navigate through the challenges in life after breaking free from family violence. The handbook covers culturally specific examples of unacceptable behaviours and practices so that youth can recognise the signs of an abusive relationship. It also includes personal anecdotes and supportive messages shared by migrant and refugee youth.
“There is a clear lack of support and culturally specific resources available for migrant and refugee youth who try to rebuild their lives after experiencing family violence in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. We hope this resource will provide practical knowledge as well as support,” says Mengzhu Fu, the project co-ordinator for the Shakti Youth Unit.
“Even though we specifically focus on the experiences of migrant and refugee youth, there is no doubt that family violence happens across cultures. However, there are specific experiences, issues and practices that need attention in immigrant communities, such as intergenerational cultural conflicts, forced marriage, and what has been called ‘honour-based’ violence. This handbook covers in more detail what this looks like,” continues Fu.
The handbook is available for purchase through Shakti, and it is free for young people who access Shakti’s services.
The launch of “Break Free” is going to be at an event with the theme of “No Equality Without Diversity,” featuring panel discussions with researchers and politicians, as well as a discussion of Shakti’s campaign #SaveShaktiWellingtonRefuge. The event is a free brunch from 9.30am to 1pm, open to all in the community. Supported by Ethnix Links, Pacific Women’s Watch, Multicultural Council NZ and Auckland Women’s Centre.
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