Example letter to your local Member of Parliament.
To The Hon. <<INSERT NAME OF LOCAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT HERE >>,
I am calling on you as my local Member of Parliament to work towards a safer plan for women seeking asylum in Australia, particularly women who have been forced to endure intolerable living conditions and sexual assault on the Island of Nauru.
We know that there is a better way to treat people seeking asylum in Australia. The Victorian Women’s Trust's Six Point Safety Plan (www.ourvoicetheirsafety.com) provides a strong foundation on which to base such a change.
There has been a public outcry and call for a halt to the shocking levels of domestic violence occurring against Australian women. Yet the Government’s harsh mandatory detention system has created the conditions which have led to an appalling level of violence against women and children in the Nauru detention centre and women released into the Nauruan community. As a strong advocate for preventing domestic violence against women, the Victorian Women’s Trust has rallied supporters to raise their voice against the level of violence that is occurring against women and children.
Numerous reports have shown the harm that is being done to women, men and children locked up in Australia’s detention centres. We have also heard many stories of the degrading way women are being treated in detention. Trauma, despair, sexual assault and self harm have become hallmarks of a system we simply cannot accept as a tradeoff to stop people coming to Australia by boat. This is a tradeoff causing untold human misery. It cannot be allowed to continue and I implore you to consider more humane options.
The Safety Plan provides a much safer and more humane alternative built on moral premises that respect the human rights of people seeking asylum no matter how they arrive in our country. It calls for a comprehensive regional approach to address the reasons why people make dangerous onward journeys in the first place. It calls for all women, men and children seeking asylum to be released into the community with appropriate supports once health, identity and security checks have been carried out with full access to work, education and permanent protection.
I urge you to work with your colleagues to create humane asylum policies and practices that we can all be proud of.