Aiko’s Story

A woman seeks assistance to permanently relocate with her child to her home country after the breakdown of a violent relationship.


Aiko met Jared at a cafe when she was visiting Melbourne from Japan in 2013.  The two fell in love and pursued a long distance relationship after Aiko returned to Japan.  After a year of Aiko travelling back and forth between the countries, they were engaged.  Aiko moved to Australia in 2013 after the birth of their son, Hayden.

When Aiko and six month old Hayden arrived in Australia the relationship drastically changed. Jared became controlling and violent and was suspicious every time she attempted to leave the house.  He would not allow her to go down the street or even to go to a mothers’ group alone. Upon advice from Victoria Legal Aid, she moved into a women’s refuge with Hayden and obtained an intervention order against Jared.


Aiko came to WLSV in March of 2015 for assistance relocating back to Japan on a permanent basis.  She had limited English language skills and was struggling living in a refuge with her baby without an income or support from friends or family.  Jared would not allow Aiko to move back home with Hayden and the case went to the Family Court.

WLSV organised interpreters for Aiko to help her with court reports, interviews and court dates.  The case was put on a priority list to speed up the process, as Hayden and Aiko had no income or access to permanent housing.

Hayden was appointed an independent children’s lawyer who, in the trial, expressed their support for Hayden and Aiko’s relocation to Japan. In July 2015, the Court made final orders giving Aiko sole parental responsibility for Hayden, with provisions that she bring him back to Australia to visit his father every year.

Aiko and Hayden are now happily settled back in Japan, reconnecting with extended family and friends.  Aiko tells us that Hayden is enrolled in childcare and thriving in a supportive environment after spending the first two years of his life in a family violence refuge.