Geographies of shame: Diachronic and transnational shame in forced migrants with experiences of sexual and gender-based violencd
This article investigates the shame that forced migrants bear because of experiences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Using data from the UK, Turkey, Sweden, and Australia, we focus on shame experienced by women and LGBTQIA+ forced migrants throughout their journey, across borders and cultures. We propose three key ways to understand the complexities of shame from an experiential, temporal, and spatial perspective. First, we discuss how shame, often relating to family honour and stemming from survivors’ experiences in their home country, travels with them over time and space. We then move on to illustrate how prolonged and/or delayed feelings of shame impact on survivors’ self-confidence, self-worth, and trust in people and institutions. Finally, we consider the specific challenges LGBTQIA+ individuals face and how shame affected their settlement prospects. We argue that the SGBV experiences of forced migrants and the associated shame transcend time and space, forming landscapes of transnational and diachronic shame. Our analysis underlines the need for gender and sexuality-sensitive services for forced migrants in countries of refuge, which take into account potential ongoing effects of experiences of violence.