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Growing number of immigrants seek protection from domestic violence

Safe houses are receiving more and more immigrant women who suffer from domestic violence. Their Finnish spouse is often the perpetrator.

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The Resource Centre at Monika, the Multicultural Women’s Association, is one place offering help to immigrant women suffering from domestic violence. Located in Helsinki, Monika has seen a pronounced increase in the number of international clients seeking help. 

According to the Centre’s manager Natalie Gerbert, much of the violence experienced by immigrant women follows similar patterns as domestic violence in Finnish homes. Immigrant women additionally suffer from assaults on honour.

About half of the immigrant women received at the Resource Centre are married to a Finn. 

Immigrants account for about one fifth of all safe house residents in Finland, as reported by the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters. According to the Federation’s Development Manager Sari Laaksonen, nearly 30 percent of safe house clients in the capital region and in Finland’s larger cities are immigrants.

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