International conflict, sexual violence and asylum policy: Merseyside as a case study

Canning, Victoria (2014). International conflict, sexual violence and asylum policy: Merseyside as a case study. Critical Social Policy, 34(1) pp. 23–45.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018313502265

Abstract

This article outlines key findings from an exploration of conflict related sexual violence support for women seeking asylum in Merseyside. It highlights major international and national advances in gendered legislation and policy in terms of response to escalations in violence against women fleeing conflict, but questions the level of priority these are given or how effective they are. Drawing on interviews with local organizations, an oral history with a rape survivor, and activist work in the local area, this article determines structural gaps in support and asylum review that have major impacts on the mental, emotional and social well-being of women, with wider impacts on asylum groups more generally. Ultimately, it argues that the impacts of sexual violence during, and beyond, conflict are profound, but not adequately recognized or considered during the asylum application process in the UK or in some cases, in localized communities and organizations.

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