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Room body Ava Kanyeredzi, PhD Candidate, CWASU, London Metropolitan University ( Name (Age range) Ethnicity (self-defined)

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Presentation on theme: "Room body Ava Kanyeredzi, PhD Candidate, CWASU, London Metropolitan University ( Name (Age range) Ethnicity (self-defined)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Room body Ava Kanyeredzi, PhD Candidate, CWASU, London Metropolitan University ( Name (Age range) Ethnicity (self-defined) EmploymentRoutes into care Farah (20s) Black African Student Sexually abused and raped by uncle and mother’s boyfriend. Rebecca (30s) Afro Caribbean with Jewish descendants Jobseeker, former accounts professional Sexually abused by family friend. Jacinta (40s) African Amateur actress, unemployed Sexually abused and beaten by foster family, raped by a group of young men while living in a hostel. Norma (40s) Black Caribbean Health care professional Malnourished and beaten by her mother. Background Black and marginalised individuals may be suspicious of social service interventions influenced by discourses of family dysfunction (Agozino, 1997; Barn, 2001; Bernard and Gupta, 2008; Lees, 2002), further explored in first person narratives of Black British women abused as children (Briscoe, 2009; Mason-John, 2005; Riley, 1985; Williams, 2011). Knowing what I know now...research 15 women interviewed: 6 as experts who worked in support services; 9 as victim-survivors, on help seeking for violence and abuse for African and Caribbean heritage women. Visual methods (photographs, maps and diagrams) were used to help elicit past memories and some were created by the women as part of the research process. Of the nine, seven were abused as children: four were fostered (privately in one case); two were fostered by family friends/relatives, and one became the legal guardian of her siblings. Participants who were fostered Six of the seven women abused as children received social service intervention. The table below shows those who were placed into foster care. References Agozino, B. (1997). Black Women and the Criminal Justice System: Towards the Decolonisation of Victimisation. Aldershot: Ashgate. Ahmed, S. (2000). Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Postcoloniality. London and New York: Routledge. Ahmed, S. (2004). The Cultural Politics of Emotions. London: Routledge. Ahmed, S. (2007). A Phenomenology of Whiteness. Feminist Theory, 8(2), 149–168. Barn, R. (2007). “Race”, Ethnicity and Child Welfare: A Fine Balancing Act. British Journal of Social Work, 37(8), 1425–1434. Beaubeouf-Lafontant, T. (2007). “YOU HAVE TO SHOW STRENGTH” An Exploration of Gender,Race, and Depression. Gender & Society, Beauboeuf-Lafontant, T. (2008). Listening Past the Lies that Make us Sick: A Voice-Centered Analysis of Strength and Depression among Black Women. Qualitative Sociology, 31, 391–406. Bernard, C., & Gupta, A. (2008). Black African Children and the Child Protection System. British Journal of Social Work38 (3), Conclusions Feeling ‘raced’ (Ahmed, 2000; 2004; 2007; Fanon, 1986) intersected with experiences of racism and child sexual abuse. Some felt that abuse was already known and could be read from their bodies (Coy, 2008; 2009). Family or cultural discourses about being strong (Beaubeouf- Lafontant, 2007; 2008) suggested they conceal emotional distress, through processes of ‘toughening up’. A ‘continuum of oppression’ is experienced long after abuse and leaving care. Women carried these past legacies, while they manage everyday challenges as embodied burdens. Fanon, F. (2008/1986). Black Skin White Masks. London: Pluto Press. Gupta, R. (Ed.). (2003). From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers: Southall Black Sisters. London: Zed Books. Coy, M. (2008). Young Women, Local Authority Care and Selling Sex: Findings from Research. British Journal of Social Work, 38(7), Coy, M. (2009). This body which is not mine: The notion of the habit body in prostitution and (dis)embodiment. Feminist Theory, 10(1), Lees, S. (2002). Gender, Ethnicity and Vulnerability in Young Women in Local Authority Care. British Journal of Social Work, 32(7), Williams, P. (2011). Precious: A True Story. London: Bloomsbury. Wilson, M. (1993). Crossing the Boundary: Black Women Survive Incest. London: Virago Press. Exhausting liminal rumination ‘I’m learning to love the outside of my body … the inside’s got all its parts intact … just like here [points to the photo] … I need to decorate … over the old parts … all the memories from the previous occupier are there … the nicotine on the walls, which is a lot [laughs] … I need to make it into my own.’ Rebecca Themes Generations of female relatives sexually abused or exploited in contexts of migration. ‘Saved’ by social service intervention as children, ‘betrayed’ as parents. Viewed as betraying their families by not ‘keeping business’ (Wilson, 1993) which severed relationships with siblings and close relatives. As teenagers concealed their bodies, were sexually exploited, and did not ‘use’ sexuality enough. Described feeling ‘like a minority’, ‘like a pathology’ in public spaces and ‘judged’ by social workers, and counsellors. ‘When you’re young you tend to see things inside your house, what goes on in here stays in here... it’s quite a Black thing to think well they’re your parents, you should live with them, you should be obedient.’ Norma ‘Social services obviously [giggles] did their job They were interested in how the other children were being raised and the whole dilapidation of the conditions.’ Rebecca ‘T he hostel where I was staying, one of the young ladies there, got beaten up because she said that somebody was looking for [me] … I was too scared to tell the police … I feel totally stupid up to this day, for not doing anything.’ Jacinta Room Body Farah’s Bodyline


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