Legal responses to the process and conditionality of separation in the context of family violence.
Drawing on interviews with women who have experienced intimate partner violence, this presentation considers women’s dynamic experiences of leaving violent relationships in the shadow of static legal understandings of separation and the on-going dangers women face when they engage with legal systems and processes. When women are trying to separate, sometimes law is the one thing that keeps bringing them back into contact with their abuser. This presentation highlights women’s experiences of separation as a process and journey rather than a single moment in time. Drawing on the interviews, two areas of law where separation underpins the legal response are considered: the migration and visa system and the family law system.