Forced to flee or Safe to settle?
The extent and implications of women’s
journeys in response to domestic violence
This poster reports on early stages of a PhD research project, mapping the journeys of women in response to
domestic violence, and exploring the meanings and implications of such journeys.
This process of internal displacement within the UK raises issues for policy makers and practitioners concerning the
capacity and location of services; and the conception of women’s journeys as forced migration also allows insights
and learning from the experiences of other migrants and other diasporas.
Methods and initial results Initial conclusions
The research includes carrying out quantitative and spatial • A large number of women (often with children)
analysis on a database of women who accessed services due to are moving considerable distances within the UK
domestic violence. in response to domestic violence.
• The map on the left indicates the journeys of 93 women (61% • This research is an innovative empirical study of
with children) to a single refuge in 2007-08. this internal migration, intending to measure and
• Women’s journeys are being analysed in terms of visualise the social processes.
distance, and relating this to individual demographic • Initially it appears that women are travelling
characteristics (such as age, ethnic origin, disability from a wide range of locations and in all
and whether they had children). directions - the majority of Local Authorities have
• The map on the right indicates the overall flows to and from similar numbers of women arriving and leaving.
English Local Authorities in 2008-09: a total of 18,812 women
09: • More detailed quantitative analysis will identify
(53.9% with children). any association between journey directions and
• This enables analysis of characteristics of place – distances and women’s demographic
whether a higher proportion of women leave or characteristics.
arrive in particular local authorities, or rural or • Interviews will explore the practical and
urban areas, or more deprived areas, for example. emotional implications of the journeys women are
The implications of such journeys from place to place will be making.
explored in qualitative interviews with women.
Janet Bowstead - Research Student Project funded by
Women’s individual experiences will be contextualised in the Economic and
relation to the quantitative and spatial analysis; and in Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, Social Research
London Metropolitan University. Council
relation to concepts of forced migration, women’s agency and
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Poster produced
rights, and journeys of exile and diaspora. tel: +44 (0)20 7133 5014 November 2010