Resettlement stressors for women of refugee background resettled in regional Australia

Clare Hawkes, Kimberley Norris, Janine Joyce, Douglas Paton

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    Abstract

    Women of Refugee Background (WoRB) have been repeatedly identified as an extremely vulnerable population. Within an Australian context, WoRB are increasingly resettled to non-metropolitan locations, otherwise known as regional locations. Despite this, to date, no research has focused on the lived experience and challenges associated with the resettlement of WoRB to regional contexts. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature by investigating the resettlement experience of WoRB resettled in Tasmania—a state in Australia classified as a rural and regional location. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a group of 21 individuals (nine WoRB and 12 service providers). Thematic analysis identified four overarching themes—Communication Barriers and Lack of Fluency in English, Challenges Accessing Everyday Basic Needs, Loss of Connection to Culture of Origin and Inability to Access Mainstream Mental Health Services for Help. Participants also highlighted a number of unique gender-related vulnerabilities experienced during resettlement, which were exacerbated in regional locations due to health services being overstretched and under-resourced. Results of the current study are discussed in regard to policy and practical implications, taking into consideration the unique vulnerabilities experienced by WoRB, which, to date, are often overlooked.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3942
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Volume18
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2021

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