The ‘epidemic within the pandemic’: meeting the needs of racially minoritised women experiencing domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic

MAGILL, Severyna (2022). The ‘epidemic within the pandemic’: meeting the needs of racially minoritised women experiencing domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research.

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Purpose – In March 2020, the UK entered its first lockdown responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the same month, the Domestic Abuse Bill had its first reading in Parliament. Charities and non-governmental organisations critiqued the Bill for failing to protect migrants from domestic abuse, and not complying with the Istanbul Convention. Drawing on interviews with staff from Southall Black Sisters this paper foregrounds the experiences of practitioners within the women’s sector to explore the unique experiences and challenges migrant and racially minoritised women encountered when seeking support from domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic. It highlights how the pandemic related lockdowns created barriers to accessing support services and housing, creating an epidemic within the pandemic, and how minoritised women and the organisations that supported them had to overcome structural barriers and racism. Design/methodology/approach (limit 100 words) Design/Methodology/Approach – In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff from a leading women’s organisation that supports migrant and racially minoritised women. Four participants were asked questions within four themes: domestic abuse before and during the pandemic; accessing support for and reporting domestic abuse; accessibility of resources; and post-pandemic challenges. A phenomenological approach was used to analyse the transcribed interviews. Findings (limit 100 words) Findings – Participants consistently highlighted the unique threats and barriers migrant and racially minoritised women faced when seeking support. Barriers included racism, language barriers, cultural constraints, the triple threat of destitution, detention, and deportation, and political resistance to protect migrant women from destitution/homelessness. Originality/value (limit 100 words) Originality/Value – This paper provides a unique insight into the experiences of staff members within a specialist by and for women’s support organisation in England and their perspectives on the barriers racially minoritised and migrant women experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. It offers rare insights into how service users’ needs changed during the lockdowns, and how the pandemic affected their ability to operate.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** From Emerald via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article: ** Peer reviewed: TRUE **Journal IDs: issn 1759-6599 **History: accepted 24-10-2022; rev-recd 11-08-2022; submitted 16-05-2022. Published date on landing page given as 08-12-2022, but accessed on 06-12-2022. AM made available on 06-12-2022.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Empirical Paper, Domestic Abuse, Violence Against Women, Covid-19, BME (Black, Minority, Ethnic) Women, Migrant Women, No Recourse to Public Funds
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2022 11:40
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 08:47

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