Temporary Migration and Family Violence: How Perpetrators Weaponise Borders


This paper explores the implications of domestic and family violence occurring across borders, specifically the utilisation of border crossings to exert control and enact violence. While gendered violence can and does occur in border-crossing journeys, this paper focuses more specifically on how domestic and family violence extends across national borders and how violence (or the threat of violence and deportation) can manifest across multiple countries when women are temporary visa holders. This paper illuminates the way in which migration systems play a significant role in temporary migrant experiences of domestic and family violence. Drawing on a study of 300 temporary migrants and their experiences of domestic and family violence, I argue that perpetrators effectively weaponise the migration system to threaten, coerce and control women in different ways, most often with impunity. I also argue that we cannot focus on perpetrators and the individual alone—that we need to build on the border criminology scholarship that highlights the need to focus on systemic harm in the context of domestic and family violence and identify how the migration regime contributes to gendered violence.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2021-12-01
Pages:26 to 38
Section:Special Issue: Criminalisation and the Violence(s) of the State
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How to Cite
Segrave, M. (2021) “Temporary Migration and Family Violence: How Perpetrators Weaponise Borders”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4), pp. 26-38. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.1995.

Author Biography

Monash University

Marie Segrave is an Associate Professor of Criminology and a researcher with Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and Monash Migration and Inclusions Centre. She has led major studies on temporary migration and domestic and family violence, a national self-report study of migrant and refugee women's experiences of safety and security in Australia and significant studies on the intersections of migration control and abuse and exploitation. She has written multiple books and published widely in this area.