How structural and symbolic violence during resettlement impacts the social and mental wellbeing of forced migrant women: the lived experiences of Arabic speaking survivors of IPV resettled in Melbourne, Australia.
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15822
Forced migrant women experience high levels of violence across their journeys and violence can be characterised as having three overarching forms: structural, symbolic, and interpersonal. It is important to understand the intersecting nature of gendered forms of symbolic, structural and interpersonal violence, and their impact on the mental health of forced migrant women in order to develop holistic IPV and resettlement programs and interventions. This article adopts an ecological framework of violence and qualitative methods with mental health service providers and survivors of IPV to understand the intersections of different forms of violence and their impact on mental health as they relate to the lived experiences of Arabic-speaking forced migrant survivors currently residing in Melbourne, Australia. Our research has three key findings: (1) that forced migrant women living in Melbourne, Australia experience intersecting forms of violence during resettlement (2) Structural and symbolic violence against forced migrant women persists regardless of marital status (3) Autonomy and independence plays a vital role in the mental health and wellbeing of forced migrant women. Our findings reveal that structural and symbolic violence increase the risk of IPV for forced migrant women during resettlement and that even when forced migrant women leave IPV situations, structural and symbolic violence persist and exacerbate mental ill-health. This article also reveals the importance autonomy and independence in both the perpetration of violence and in healing and recovery.
© The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.