Seminar on Protection of Female Migrant Workers and Ethnic Minority Women Sexual Violence Victims

To share RainLily’s experiences and insights gained through crisis intervention, counseling, and community education programmes, the seminar on Protection of Female Migrant Workers and Ethnic Minority Women Sexual Violence Victims was held on 9 May 2015. Dr. Leung Lai Ching, Associate Professor of Department of Applied Social Studies at City University of Hong Kong shared the findings of the research and various guest speakers from different professionals also shared their experiences on protection of female migrant workers and ethnic minority women sexual violence victims.

With sponsorship from Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited, RainLily started a three-year project entitled “WE Stand Programme for Female Migrant Workers and Ethnic Minority Women” to support survivors of sexual violence in 2012. We also collaborated with Dr. Leung Lai Ching, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, to evaluate the effectiveness of the WE Stand programme services, so as to understand its strengths, and through the feedback from service users and frontline workers, to arrive at recommendations for service improvement.

Dr. Leung Lai Ching said that the findings of the study showed that survivors were likely to face a range of problems after being sexually assaulted, such as emotional problems, financial problems, relationship problems, decision making in pregnancy, and problems encountered in the police reporting procedure. The WE Stand programme provided survivors with accompaniment services, legal support, tangible support, interpretation, and referral to other support services such as emergency shelters and psychiatric treatment. The services received positive feedback from the respondents. Respondents showed positive changes after the intervention.

At the public forum, five major aspects were discussed, including “How to raise gender and cultural sensitivity?”, “Is it possible to increase the provision of tangible service such as accommodation and financial support?”, “Can we enhance existing service co-ordination?”, “The current immigration policy is not favorable to MW sexual abuse survivors because they are required to return to their home countries within 14 days” and “Police reporting police in relation to interpretation service and screen for court protection”.

The guest speakers, Ms. Annisa Ma Sau Ching, Chief Social Work Officer (Domestic Violence) of Social Welfare Department), Ms. Frances Lee King Hei, Chief Inspector (Family Conflict and Sexual Violence Policy Unit)(Crime Wing) of Hong Kong Police Force and Dr. Hon Fernando Cheung Chiu Hung, Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Strategy and Measures to Tackle Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence in the Legislative Council also expressed their opinions and gave feedback at the forum.

To improve the services to support female migrant workers and ethnic minority women sexual violence victims, Ms. Linda Wong Sau Yung, Executive Director of RainLily, made the following recommendations 1) To suggest improvements in police handling procedures, 2) To provide training to interpreters and other professionals, 3) To advocate for policy change 4) To provide in-service training for social workers, 5) To promote sex education in schools and in the public and 6) To strengthen service coordination.