Women from CALD backgrounds: Where do I find support?

Culture is never an excuse for sexual assault, domestic or family violence.

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Women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds experiencing sexual assault, domestic or family violence face a set of complex dynamics, issues and risks when trying to access services and increase their safety. Language should never be a barrier to seeking support:

  • Counselling and support services for sexual assault or domestic and family violence are available for everyone regardless of their cultural background

  • There is a list of services for women from migrant, refugee and CALD communities at the bottom of this page

  • The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is available, 24 horus a day

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)

TIS is a national, government service that provides professional interpreters over the phone or onsite.

Professional interpreters are trained to ensure that communication is as accurate as possible. They will make sure that they interpret what someone is saying as closely as possible, and explain anything that is confusing.

The TIS service is completely confidential. Interpreters won’t talk to anyone else about anything that is the discussed without permission.

A request for a female interpreter can be made.

Find out more about the full range of TIS services on the TIS National website.

Using the 1800RESPECT telephone counselling service with a TIS interpreter

The 1800RESPECT Telephone Counselling Service is available to all people in Australia affected by sexual assault and domestic and family violence. Qualified and experienced counsellors provide counselling, information and assistance to access other services. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The telephone TIS service is available 24 hours a day, sven days a week and is free of charge for anyone wanting to contact 1800RESPECT.

To arrange this:

  • Call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 and ask for an interpreter. The counsellor will make the arrangements, or

  • Call TIS on 131 450 and ask them to contact 1800RESPECT.

Other organisations that can help 

Organisations that specialise in providing assistance for people from migrant, refugee and CALD communities include: 

New South Wales

Immigrant Women’s Speakout  Call (02) 9635 8022 

Immigrant Women’s Health Centre Call (02) 9726 4044


InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence Call toll free 800 755 988


Immigrant Women’s Support Service Call (07) 3846 3490 

South Australia

Migrant Women’s Support Service Call (08) 8346 9417

Western Australia

Multicultural Women’s Advocacy Service Call (08) 9328 1200

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