International Development Planning Review

Urban Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in transnational perspective: reflections from Brazilian women in London

International Development Planning Review (2020), 42, (1), 93–112.

Abstract

This article explores the nature of urban Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) among Brazilian migrants in London from a transnational perspective. Through adapting the continuum approach to understanding VAWG from a multi-scalar and non-hierarchical viewpoint, the article develops a ‘transnational continuum of urban VAWG’ highlighting the diversity of types of gender-based violence (GBV) across individual, community, city, state and transnational scales over time. Drawing on research with Brazilians in London, VAWG emerges as multi-dimensional, complex and endemic, especially in the public sphere and with transnational continuities. Underpinning the VAWG continuum is recognition that a transnational lens is essential in understanding the causes of GBV rooted in patriarchal gender inequalities which emerge as very resistant in reconfiguring violence among Brazilians in London. In turn, these causes intersect with various risk factors, many of which are linked with the transnational migrant experience, especially insecure immigration status and limited English language proficiency.

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References

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Brickell, K. and Maddrell, A. (2016) ‘Geographical frontiers of gendered violence’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 6(2), 170–72. Google Scholar

Chant, S. (1991) Women and survival in Mexican cities, Manchester, Manchester University Press. Google Scholar

Chant, S. and McIlwaine, C. (2016) Cities, slums and gender in the global South, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Datta, A. (2016) ‘The intimate city: violence, gender and ordinary life in Delhi slums’, Urban Geography, 37, 323–42. Google Scholar

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Dominguez, S. and Menjívar, C. (2014) ‘Beyond individual and visible acts of violence: A framework to examine the lives of women in low-income neighborhoods’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 44, 184–95. Google Scholar

Erez, E., Adelman, M. and Gregory, C. (2009) ‘Intersections of immigration and domestic violence, voices of battered immigrant women’, Feminist Criminology, 4(1), 32–56. Google Scholar

Evans, Y. and McIlwaine, C. (2017) ‘Supporting Brazilian women in London: service provision for survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)’, London, QMUL, https://transnationalperspectivesonvawg.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/supporting-brazilian-women-in-london-final-07-04-17.pdf (accessed 10 July 2018). Google Scholar

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Faria, C. (2017) ‘Towards a countertopography of intimate war: contouring violence and resistance in a South Sudanese diaspora’, Gender, Place and Culture, 24, 575–93. Google Scholar

Flake, D. F. and Forste, R. (2006) ‘Fighting families: family characteristics associated with domestic violence in five Latin American countries’, Journal of Family Violence, 21, 19–29. Google Scholar

Gill, A. and Rehman, G. (2004) ‘Empowerment through activism: responding to domestic violence in the South Asian community’, Gender and Development, 12(1), 75–82. Google Scholar

Glick Schiller, N. (2015) ‘Explanatory frameworks in transnational migration studies: the missing multi-scalar global perspective’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(13), 2275–82. Google Scholar

Heise, L. and Kotsadam, A. (2015) ‘Cross-national and multilevel correlates of partner violence: an analysis of data from population-based surveys’, The Lancet Global, 3(6), 332–40. Google Scholar

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Hughes, C., Marrs, C. and Sweetman, C. (2016) ‘Introduction to gender, development and VAWG’, Gender and Development, 24(2), 157–69. Google Scholar

Hume, M. (2009) The politics of violence: gender, conflict and community in El Salvador, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell. Google Scholar

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Kelly, L. (1988) Surviving sexual violence, Oxford, Polity Press. Google Scholar

Kelly, L. (2005) ‘Inside outsiders’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 7(4), 471–95. Google Scholar

Kelly, L. (2013) ‘Moving in the shadows: introduction’, in Rehman et al. (eds), 1–11. Google Scholar

Kim, N.Y. (2006) ‘Patriarchy is so Third World: Korean immigrant women and “migrating” white Western masculinity’, Social Problems, 53(4), 519–36. Google Scholar

Krenzinger, M., Sousa Silva, E., McIlwaine, C. and Heritage, P. (eds) (2018) Dores que Liberam, Rio de Janeiro, Attis. Google Scholar

Loya, R. M. (2014) ‘The role of sexual violence in creating and maintaining economic insecurity among asset-poor women of color’, Violence Against Women, 20(11), 1299–320. Google Scholar

Mahler, S. J. and Pessar, P. R. (2001) ‘Gendered geographies of power: analyzing gender across transnational spaces’, Identities, 7(4), 441–59. Google Scholar

Margolis, M. (2013) Goodbye, Brazil: Émigrés from the land of soccer and samba, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Press. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2010) ‘Migrant machismos: exploring gender ideologies and practices among Latin American migrants in London from a multi-scalar perspective’, Gender, Place and Culture, 17(3), 281–300. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2012) ‘Constructing transnational social spaces among Latin American migrants in Europe: perspectives from the UK’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 5(2), 271–88. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2013) ‘Urbanisation and gender-based violence: exploring the paradoxes in the global South’, Environment and Urbanization, 25(1), 65–79. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2015) ‘Legal Latins: creating webs and practices of immigration status among Latin American migrants in London’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(3), 493–511. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. and Bunge, D. (2016) Towards visibility: the Latin American community in London, London, Trust for London. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. and Carlisle, F. (2011) ‘Gender transformations and gender-based violence among Latin American migrants in London’, in C. McIlwaine (ed.), Cross-border migration among Latin Americans, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 157–74. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. and Evans, Y. (2018) ‘“We can’t fight in the dark”: Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) among Brazilians in London’, London, King’s College London. https://transnationalperspectivesonvawg.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/1_mcilwaine-and-evans-london-vawg-full-report_online.pdf (accessed 11 July 2018). Google Scholar

Menjívar, C. (2011) Enduring violence: Ladina women’s lives in Guatemala, Berkeley, University of California Press. Google Scholar

Menjívar, C. and Salcido, O. (2002) ‘Immigrant women and domestic violence’, Gender and Society, 16(6), 898–920. Google Scholar

Moser, C. (2001) ‘The gendered continuum of violence and conflict’, in C. Moser and F. Clark (eds) Victims, perpetrators or actors?, London, Zed, 30–52. Google Scholar

Moser, C. (ed.) (2016) Gender, asset accumulation and just cities, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Moser, C. and McIlwaine, C. (2004) Encounters with violence in Latin America, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Moser, C. and McIlwaine, C. (2014) ‘Editorial: new frontiers in twenty-first century urban conflict and violence’, Environment and Urbanization, 26(2), 331–44. Google Scholar

O’Neal, E. N. and Beckman, L. (2016) ‘Intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender: reframing knowledge surrounding barriers to social services among Latina intimate partner violence victims’, Violence Against Women, 23(5), 643–65. Google Scholar

O’Toole, L. L. and Schiffman, J. R. (eds) (1997) Gender violence, New York and London, New York University Press. Google Scholar

Pain, R. (2014) ‘Everyday terrorism: connecting domestic violence and global terrorism’, Progress in Human Geography, 38(4), 531–50. Google Scholar

Pain, R. and Staeheli, L. (2014) ‘Introduction: intimacy-geopolitics and violence’, Area, 46(4), 344–47. Google Scholar

Peake, L. (2016) ‘The twenty-first century quest for feminism and the global urban’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(1), 219–27. Google Scholar

Rehman, Y., Kelly, L. and Siddiqui, H. (eds) (2013) Moving in the shadows: violence in the lives of minority women and children, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Reina, A., Maldonado, M. M. and Lohman, B. J. (2013) ‘Undocumented Latina networks and responses to domestic violence in a new immigrant gateway: toward a place-specific analysis’, Violence Against Women, 19(12), 1472–97. Google Scholar

Rights of Women (2013) Violence against women, women only services and the Equality Act 2010, https://thelondonvawgconsortium.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Best-Practice-Briefing-Equality-Act.pdf (accessed 10 July 2018). Google Scholar

Sheringham, O. (2013) Transnational religious spaces: faith and the Brazilian migration experience, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Google Scholar

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Watts, C. and Zimmerman, C. (2002) ‘Violence against women: global scope and magnitude’, The Lancet, 359(9313), 1232–37. Google Scholar

Wilding, P. (2010) ‘New violence: silencing women’s experiences in the favelas of Brazil’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 42(4), 719–47. Google Scholar

Abraham, M. and Tastsoglou, E. (2016) ‘Interrogating gender, violence, and the state in national and transnational contexts: framing the issues’, Current Sociology, 64(4), 517–34. Google Scholar

Anitha, S. (2008) ‘Neither safety nor justice: the UK government response to domestic violence against immigrant women’, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 30(3), 189–202. Google Scholar

Auyero, J. (2011) ‘Researching the urban margins: what can the United States learn from Latin America and vice versa?’, City and Community, 10(4), 431–36. Google Scholar

Beserra, B. (2005) ‘From Brazilians to Latinos? Racialization and Latinidad in the making of Brazilian carnival in Los Angeles’, Latino Studies, 3(1), 53–75. Google Scholar

Boesten, J. (2017) ‘Of exceptions and continuities: theory and methodology in research on conflict-related sexual violence’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 19(4), 506–19. Google Scholar

Brickell, K. and Maddrell, A. (2016) ‘Geographical frontiers of gendered violence’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 6(2), 170–72. Google Scholar

Chant, S. (1991) Women and survival in Mexican cities, Manchester, Manchester University Press. Google Scholar

Chant, S. and McIlwaine, C. (2016) Cities, slums and gender in the global South, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Datta, A. (2016) ‘The intimate city: violence, gender and ordinary life in Delhi slums’, Urban Geography, 37, 323–42. Google Scholar

Datta, K. and McIlwaine, C. (2014) ‘Negotiating masculinised migrant rights and everyday citizenship in a global city: Brazilian men in London’, in A. Gorman-Murray and P. Hopkins (eds) Masculinities and place, Aldershot, Ashgate, 93–108. Google Scholar

Datta, K., McIlwaine, C., Evans, Y., Herbert, J., May, J. and Wills, J. (2009) ‘Men on the move: narratives of migration and work among low paid migrant men in London’, Social and Cultural Geography, 10(8), 853–73. Google Scholar

Dominguez, S. and Menjívar, C. (2014) ‘Beyond individual and visible acts of violence: A framework to examine the lives of women in low-income neighborhoods’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 44, 184–95. Google Scholar

Erez, E., Adelman, M. and Gregory, C. (2009) ‘Intersections of immigration and domestic violence, voices of battered immigrant women’, Feminist Criminology, 4(1), 32–56. Google Scholar

Evans, Y. and McIlwaine, C. (2017) ‘Supporting Brazilian women in London: service provision for survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)’, London, QMUL, https://transnationalperspectivesonvawg.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/supporting-brazilian-women-in-london-final-07-04-17.pdf (accessed 10 July 2018). Google Scholar

Evans, Y., Dias, G., Martins, A. Jr, Souza, A. and Tonhati, T. (2015) ‘Diversidade de Oportunidades: Brasileiros em Londres’, London, GEB, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283463803_Diversidade_de_Oportunidades_Brasileirs_no_Reino_Unido_2013-2014 (accessed 10 July 2018). Google Scholar

Evans, Y., Tonhati, T., Dias, G., Brightwell, G., Sheringham, O., Souzha, A. and Souza, C. (2011) ‘Brazilians in London: a report’, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 36(71), 235–48. Google Scholar

Faria, C. (2017) ‘Towards a countertopography of intimate war: contouring violence and resistance in a South Sudanese diaspora’, Gender, Place and Culture, 24, 575–93. Google Scholar

Flake, D. F. and Forste, R. (2006) ‘Fighting families: family characteristics associated with domestic violence in five Latin American countries’, Journal of Family Violence, 21, 19–29. Google Scholar

Gill, A. and Rehman, G. (2004) ‘Empowerment through activism: responding to domestic violence in the South Asian community’, Gender and Development, 12(1), 75–82. Google Scholar

Glick Schiller, N. (2015) ‘Explanatory frameworks in transnational migration studies: the missing multi-scalar global perspective’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(13), 2275–82. Google Scholar

Heise, L. and Kotsadam, A. (2015) ‘Cross-national and multilevel correlates of partner violence: an analysis of data from population-based surveys’, The Lancet Global, 3(6), 332–40. Google Scholar

Heise, L., Ellsberg, M. and Gottemoeller, M. (1999) Ending violence against women, Report Number 11, Series L, Population Information Program, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Google Scholar

Hughes, C., Marrs, C. and Sweetman, C. (2016) ‘Introduction to gender, development and VAWG’, Gender and Development, 24(2), 157–69. Google Scholar

Hume, M. (2009) The politics of violence: gender, conflict and community in El Salvador, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell. Google Scholar

Imkaan (2017) Safe pathways? Exploring an intersectional approach to addressing violence against women and girls, London, Ascent, https://thelondonvawgconsortium.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/CORRECT-Good-Practice-Briefing-Imkaan-Intersectionality.pdf (accessed 11 July 2018). Google Scholar

Jewkes, R. (2002) ‘Intimate partner violence: causes and prevention’, The Lancet, 359(9315), 1423–29. Google Scholar

Kelly, L. (1988) Surviving sexual violence, Oxford, Polity Press. Google Scholar

Kelly, L. (2005) ‘Inside outsiders’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 7(4), 471–95. Google Scholar

Kelly, L. (2013) ‘Moving in the shadows: introduction’, in Rehman et al. (eds), 1–11. Google Scholar

Kim, N.Y. (2006) ‘Patriarchy is so Third World: Korean immigrant women and “migrating” white Western masculinity’, Social Problems, 53(4), 519–36. Google Scholar

Krenzinger, M., Sousa Silva, E., McIlwaine, C. and Heritage, P. (eds) (2018) Dores que Liberam, Rio de Janeiro, Attis. Google Scholar

Loya, R. M. (2014) ‘The role of sexual violence in creating and maintaining economic insecurity among asset-poor women of color’, Violence Against Women, 20(11), 1299–320. Google Scholar

Mahler, S. J. and Pessar, P. R. (2001) ‘Gendered geographies of power: analyzing gender across transnational spaces’, Identities, 7(4), 441–59. Google Scholar

Margolis, M. (2013) Goodbye, Brazil: Émigrés from the land of soccer and samba, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Press. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2010) ‘Migrant machismos: exploring gender ideologies and practices among Latin American migrants in London from a multi-scalar perspective’, Gender, Place and Culture, 17(3), 281–300. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2012) ‘Constructing transnational social spaces among Latin American migrants in Europe: perspectives from the UK’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 5(2), 271–88. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2013) ‘Urbanisation and gender-based violence: exploring the paradoxes in the global South’, Environment and Urbanization, 25(1), 65–79. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. (2015) ‘Legal Latins: creating webs and practices of immigration status among Latin American migrants in London’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(3), 493–511. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. and Bunge, D. (2016) Towards visibility: the Latin American community in London, London, Trust for London. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. and Carlisle, F. (2011) ‘Gender transformations and gender-based violence among Latin American migrants in London’, in C. McIlwaine (ed.), Cross-border migration among Latin Americans, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 157–74. Google Scholar

McIlwaine, C. and Evans, Y. (2018) ‘“We can’t fight in the dark”: Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) among Brazilians in London’, London, King’s College London. https://transnationalperspectivesonvawg.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/1_mcilwaine-and-evans-london-vawg-full-report_online.pdf (accessed 11 July 2018). Google Scholar

Menjívar, C. (2011) Enduring violence: Ladina women’s lives in Guatemala, Berkeley, University of California Press. Google Scholar

Menjívar, C. and Salcido, O. (2002) ‘Immigrant women and domestic violence’, Gender and Society, 16(6), 898–920. Google Scholar

Moser, C. (2001) ‘The gendered continuum of violence and conflict’, in C. Moser and F. Clark (eds) Victims, perpetrators or actors?, London, Zed, 30–52. Google Scholar

Moser, C. (ed.) (2016) Gender, asset accumulation and just cities, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Moser, C. and McIlwaine, C. (2004) Encounters with violence in Latin America, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Moser, C. and McIlwaine, C. (2014) ‘Editorial: new frontiers in twenty-first century urban conflict and violence’, Environment and Urbanization, 26(2), 331–44. Google Scholar

O’Neal, E. N. and Beckman, L. (2016) ‘Intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender: reframing knowledge surrounding barriers to social services among Latina intimate partner violence victims’, Violence Against Women, 23(5), 643–65. Google Scholar

O’Toole, L. L. and Schiffman, J. R. (eds) (1997) Gender violence, New York and London, New York University Press. Google Scholar

Pain, R. (2014) ‘Everyday terrorism: connecting domestic violence and global terrorism’, Progress in Human Geography, 38(4), 531–50. Google Scholar

Pain, R. and Staeheli, L. (2014) ‘Introduction: intimacy-geopolitics and violence’, Area, 46(4), 344–47. Google Scholar

Peake, L. (2016) ‘The twenty-first century quest for feminism and the global urban’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(1), 219–27. Google Scholar

Rehman, Y., Kelly, L. and Siddiqui, H. (eds) (2013) Moving in the shadows: violence in the lives of minority women and children, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

Reina, A., Maldonado, M. M. and Lohman, B. J. (2013) ‘Undocumented Latina networks and responses to domestic violence in a new immigrant gateway: toward a place-specific analysis’, Violence Against Women, 19(12), 1472–97. Google Scholar

Rights of Women (2013) Violence against women, women only services and the Equality Act 2010, https://thelondonvawgconsortium.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Best-Practice-Briefing-Equality-Act.pdf (accessed 10 July 2018). Google Scholar

Sheringham, O. (2013) Transnational religious spaces: faith and the Brazilian migration experience, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Google Scholar

UN (United Nations) (1993) Declaration on the elimination of violence against women (A/RES/48/104), New York, UN, http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/48/a48r104.htm (accessed 11 July 2018). Google Scholar

UN Women (2015) A framework to underpin action to prevent violence against women, New York, UN Women, https://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Prevention_Framework_unwomen_nov2015.pdf (accessed 11 July 2018). Google Scholar

Watts, C. and Zimmerman, C. (2002) ‘Violence against women: global scope and magnitude’, The Lancet, 359(9313), 1232–37. Google Scholar

Wilding, P. (2010) ‘New violence: silencing women’s experiences in the favelas of Brazil’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 42(4), 719–47. Google Scholar

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Author details

McIlwaine, Cathy

Evans, Yara