Migrant women and homelessness: the role of gender-based violence

This paper presents findings from biographical interviews with seventeen migrant women who are part of a larger study of homelessness among women in Ireland. It specifically aims to explore the relationship between the experience of gender-based violence and homelessness, including migrant women’s responses to their abusive home situations, their interactions with services, and their perspectives on their situations. The findings highlight the structural underpinnings of the relationship between gender-based violence and homelessness. These span economic, social, legal and cultural domains, and impact women’s responses to violence/abuse and to the systems of intervention designed to meet their needs. The consequences for migrant women are multi-faceted, affecting their ability to leave abusive home situations, access appropriate services, and exit homelessness. The implications for structures and services, particularly those with responsibility for meeting the needs of migrant women, are discussed.

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