“We are forgotten”: forced migration, sexual and gender-based violence, and coronavirus disease-2019

Jenny Phillimore, Sandra Pertek, Selin Akyuz, Hoayda Darkal, Jeanine Hourani, Pip Mcknight, Saime Ozcurumez, Sarah Taal

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Adopting a structural violence approach, this article explores, with survivors and practitioners, how early coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic conditions affected forced migrant sexual and gender-based violence survivors’ lives. Introducing a new analytical framework combining violent abandonment, slow violence, and violent uncertainty, we show how interacting forms of structural violence exacerbated by pandemic conditions intensified existing inequalities. Abandonment of survivors by the state increased precarity, making everyday survival more difficult, and intensified prepandemic slow violence, while increased uncertainty heightened survivors’ psychological distress. Structural violence experienced during the pandemic can be conceptualized as part of the continuum of violence against forced migrants, which generates gendered harm.
Original languageEnglish
JournalViolence against Women
Early online date17 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant number 1258658). The SEREDA Project is funded through the Europe and Global Challenges and Lansons. The “Forced migration, SGBV and COVID-19” project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • structural violence
  • forced migrant women
  • SGBV


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