Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration
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Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration

Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Reece Jones and Jennifer L. Fluri

Border walls, shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, separated families at the border, island detention camps: migration is at the centre of contemporary political and academic debates. This ground-breaking Handbook offers an exciting and original analysis of critical research on themes such as these, drawing on cutting-edge theories from an interdisciplinary and international group of leading scholars. With a focus on spatial analysis and geographical context, this volume highlights a range of theoretical, methodological and regional approaches to migration research, while remaining attuned to the underlying politics that bring critical scholars together.
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Chapter 3: Gender, violence and migration

Cecilia Menjívar and Shannon Drysdale Walsh

Abstract

Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Honduran immigrant women often experience a continuum of violence. Patterns of violence begin in countries of origin through experiences with unresponsive legal systems and institutional inequalities, continue along migration routes, and resume after arrival within the United States. This chapter focuses on these harms through the lens of legal violence – the normalized but cumulatively injurious effects of laws at different stages in the migration process. Although manifestations of violence vary by context, the authors analyse gender-specific reasons for these women’s migration, their experiences during the journey, and their interactions with the US justice system upon arrival. While other analyses focus on individual acts of violence, the authors instead use the lens of legal violence to analyse legal structures and institutions that implicitly and explicitly shape most aspects of these immigrant women’s lives.

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