Elaine McLaughlin


Working Title of PhD:  ‘Domestic Abuse & Ethnic Minority Women in Scotland: An uncertain legal status and no recourse to public funds’

Year commenced PhD study: 2011

Institution/Organisation: Glasgow Caledonian University

Funding Source: Self-Funded

Full or part-time: Part-Time

PhD Supervisors: Professor Liz Gilchrist, Dr Chris Hand and Dr Rhonda Wheate


Focusing on women from the South Asian-Sub Continent, this research will consider the impact of the UK spousal visa system on women from the minority ethnic community living in Scotland experiencing domestic abuse.

The research involves a critical examination of the immigration legislative framework and its effect on immigrant women with an insecure immigration status.  The research will consider the extent to which existing legal protection and procedures can be improved to address any practical and unique difficulties faced by immigrant women experiencing domestic abuse.

An intersectional analysis will be adopted to identify any additional issues immigrant women may experience as a consequence of their race, class, gender, economic and social status within the context of the domestic abuse endured.  It will include an examination of corporate family structures pre and post migration; any cultural, linguistic and structural barriers immigrant women encounter; the routes taken by immigrant women when seeking support and assistance from specialised agencies such as Police Scotland, the Department for Work and Pensions, Social Work Services and women’s support agencies.

Qualitative semi-structured interviews will be conducted and Grounded Theory will be used upon analysis of the data.  The potential impact of this research will highlight the social reality of immigrant women living in Scotland experiencing domestic abuse whilst subject to visa restrictions.

Research Keywords:

BME Women, Immigration Rules, domestic abuse


New legislation aimed at providing protection against forced marriage goes live,’ The Scotsman Newspaper, 28 November 2011

‘Money can’t buy me love: the UK spousal visa system and its effect on women from the minority ethnic community experiencing domestic abuse,’ Socio-Legal Studies Association, October 2013 Newsletter




c/o Dr. Liz Frondigoun, W504A
Hamish Wood Building
Glasgow School for Business and Society
Glasgow Caledonian University
Cowcaddens Road
G4 0BA

Related Publications

Related Projects

Related News and Events