Violence against migrant women in Ireland

A part of the purpose of my research is to add to the existing evidence on gender based violence against migrant women living in Ireland. I’m hoping to post pieces of my literature review here in bite sized chunks so that anything useful can be used as my research is ongoing. So here’s a powerpoint with an initial summary of what we know (and what we don’t) about violence against migrant women in Ireland.

Data on the subject is very limited: an EU-wide study of prevalence and types of VAW in 28 countries is recent (2014), but doesn’t go into detail about differentiated experiences or different population groups. It is now 15 years since the SAVI report documented fully the extent of violence in Ireland. At the time, neither migrant women nor ethnic minority women were included among the report’s identified marginalised groups. Thus, there is no statistically significant data on the prevalence of violence against migrant women in Ireland.

I’ve pulled together some relevant data from a series of small studies on the types of violence that migrant women in Ireland have experienced in their lifetimes. These point to three main conclusions:

  1. We really have no idea what the prevalence of VAW is among migrant women in Ireland or any subcategories thereof (eg ethnic minority women/ refugee & asylum seeking women/ African women). Nor do we know which types of violence are most common or most serious.
  2. Gender based violence nonetheless is certain to have a significant impact on the lives of some migrant women living in Ireland; intimate partner violence (past and present) is likely to be the most prevalent form. Apart from intimate partner violence, some of the types of violence experienced by migrant women are probably very different to those experienced in the general population. I’ve documented some of the main differences.
  3. Not only are the types of violence different, but so too are the ways that they impact on women’s lives. This is in part because of legal conditions: Direct Provision, spouse dependency visas, and habitual residency qualifications for social welfare for example, force women to continue to live alongside potentially abusive partners. It is also because of the intercultural barriers that exist between migrant women and the wider population, complicating women’s access to services and their ability to repair damages to their lives and wellbeing.

I’ve attached a slideshow that gathers this data and my analysis of this. This is a work in progress: I’m hoping this might engage some interest, and hopefully deepen my understanding and analysis. Please get in touch to widen the perspective or correct anything dodgy!