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Family violence risk, migration status and 'vulnerability': hearing the voices of immigrant women

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In this paper, we draw on accounts of family violence risk offered by women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities living in Victoria Australia, and examine how women's migration and experiences of difference impact on the risks they face from family violence. Women in refugee and immigrant communities are often understood as experiencing additional barriers and vulnerabilities when they face family violence; implicitly creating a deficit model of vulnerability attached to women's intersectional marginalization particularly in terms of migration and service regimes.

Yet when we focus on women's own accounts of risk and safety, we argue that the 'vulnerabilities' these women experience are in fact predominantly created by service and legislative regimes that operate in terms of gender and migration. Rather than assuming that such vulnerabilities are inherent for women from CALD communities, we need to better recognise women's own assessments of risk and their searches for safety. Service and legislative responses that can support rather than inhibit women's efforts to secure their own safety are critical.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: October 2018

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Gender-Based Violence (JGBV), is the first international journal based in Europe to show case the work of scholars across disciplinary and topic boundaries, and from a range of methodologies.

    The journal acknowledges both the breadth of gender-based violence (GBV) and its links to gendered inequalities. It aims to continue to document the voices and experiences of victims and survivors of GBV, to publish work regarding those who perpetrate GBV and of the varied and complex social structures, inequalities and gender norms through which GBV is produced and sustained. The journal recognises the intersection of gender with other identities and power relations, such as ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, faith, disability and economic status.

    JGBV will publish high quality papers that contribute to understanding of GBV, policy, and/or activism, on sexual violence, domestic abuse, ‘honour’-based violence, prostitution, trafficking and/or reproductive violence and abuse in a wide range of intimate, familial, community and societal contexts.

    The editors invite interest from scholars working across the social sciences and related fields including social policy, sociology, politics, criminology, law, social psychology, development and economics, as well as disciplines allied to medicine, health and wellbeing.

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