We are still here: re-centering the quintessential subject of intersectionality


  • Khatidja Chantler Reader, School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire, Room 324, Harrington Building, Preston PR1 2HE, UK
  • Ravi Thiara Principal Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-being University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7 AL, UK


intersectionality, violence against women, racialization


This paper argues that “Black woman” should remain the quintessential subject of intersectionality as we are concerned that racialization has been submerged within intersectionality debates. Drawing on research and policy related to violence against women in minoritized communities in the UK, we (re)interrogate the explanatory power and effects of intersectionality. Résumé Cet article fait valoir que « la femme noire » devrait rester le sujet quintessentiel de l’intersectionnalité, car nous craignons que la racialisation n’ait été noyée dans les débats sur l’intersectionnalité. En nous appuyant sur la recherche et les politiques liées à la violence à l’égard des femmes dans les communautés minoritaires au Royaume-Uni, nous (ré)interrogeons le pouvoir explicatif et les effets de l’intersectionnalité.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Khatidja Chantler, Reader, School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire, Room 324, Harrington Building, Preston PR1 2HE, UK

Dr Khatidja Chantler, BSc, PhD, Reader and founder member of the Connect Centre for International Research in interpersonal violence and harm, University of Central Lancashire having previously worked for over 20 years in social services and the voluntary sector. She has a wide range of research and evaluation experience particularly in violence against women and mental health, gender and ethnicity. She supervises PhD students in these fields and is widely published.

Ravi Thiara, Principal Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-being University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7 AL, UK


Dr Ravi K. Thiara, BA, MA, PhD is Principal Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-being, University of Warwick, UK. She has over 25 years’ experience of research, evaluation and service development in the area of violence against women. She has a particular expertise in race/ethnicity, gender and violence. She teaches and supervises PhD students in this area and has published widely.



Anitha, Sundari. 2010. “No Recourse, No Support: State Policy and Practice towards South Asian Women Facing Domestic Violence in the UK.” British Journal of Social Work 40 (2): 462-479.

Burman, Erica and Khatidja Chantler. 2005. “Domestic Violence and Minoritisation: Legal and Policy Barriers Facing Minoritised Women Leaving Violent Relationships.” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 28 (1): 59-74.

Carbado, Devon W. 2013. “Colorblind Intersectionality.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38 (4): 811-845.

Carey, Malcolm. 2008. “Everything Must Go? The Privatization of State Social Work.” British Journal of Social Work 28 (5): 918-935. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl373.

Chantler, Khatidja, and Geetanjali Gangoli. 2011. “Domestic Violence in Minority Communities: Cultural Norm or Cultural Anomaly?” In Violence against Women and Ethnicity: Commonalities and Differences across Europe, edited by Ravi K. Thiara, Stephanie Condon, and Monika Schrottle, 353-366. Berlin, DE: Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Cho, Sumi, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall. 2013. “Toward a Field of Intersectionality Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38 (4): 785-810.

Chun, Jennifer Jihye, George Lipsitz, and Young Shin. 2013. “Intersectionality as a Social Movement Strategy: Asian Immigrant Women Advocates.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38 (4): 917-940.

Coy, Maddy, Liz Kelly, and Jo Foord. 2009. Map of Gaps2: The Postcode Lottery of Violence Against Women Support Services in Britain. London, UK: End Violence Against Women and Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1989. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics.” The University of Chicago Legal Forum 140: 139-167.

____. 1993 “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence Against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43 (6): 1241-1299.

____. 2011. “Postscript.” In Framing Intersectionality: Debates on a Multi-faceted Concept in Gender Studies, edited by Helma Lutz, Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar, and Linda Supik, 221-233. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

Davis, Kathy. 2008. “Intersectionality as Buzzword: A Sociology of Science Perspective on What Makes a Feminist Theory Successful.” Feminist Theory 9 (1): 67-85.

Harris, John. 2005. The Social Work Business. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Hawkins, Siân, and Katy Taylor. 2015. The Changing Landscape of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Bristol, UK: Women’s Aid Federation of England.


Hester, Marianne, Emma Williamson, Linda Regan, Mark Coulter, Khatidja Chantler, Geetanjali Gangoli, Rebecca Davenport, and Lorraine Green. 2012. Exploring the Service and Support Needs of Male, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered and Black and Other Minority Ethnic Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence. Bristol, UK: Bristol University.


HMIC. 2014. Everyone’s Business: Improving the Police Response to Domestic Abuse. London, UK: HMIC.


Home Office. 2012. Statement of Intent: Family Migration. London, UK: Home Office Publications. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257359/soi-fam-mig.pdf.

Howard, Marilyn, Clare Laxton, and Pauline Musoke. 2014. Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2013. Bristol, UK: Women’s Aid Federation of England.


Imkaan. 2012. Member Survey 2011-2012. London, UK: Imkaan.

Ismail, Sajida. 2010. “Safe to Return? A Case Study of Domestic Violence, Pakistani Women, and the UK Asylum System.” In Gender and Migration: Feminist Interventions, edited by Ingrid Palmary, Erica Burman, Khatidja Chantler, and Peace Kiguwa, 86-103. London, UK: Zed Books.

Kelly, Liz, and Lorna Dubois. 2008. Combating Violence Against Women: Minimum Standards for Support Services. Strasbourg, FR: Council of Europe: Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs.


Kimmel, Michael. 2002. “‘Gender Symmetry’ in Domestic Violence:

A Substantive and Methodological Research Review.” Violence Against Women 8 (11): 1332-1363.

Lewis, Gail. 2009. “Celebrating Intersectionality? Debates on a Multi-Faceted Concept in Gender Studies: Themes from a Conference.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 16 (3): 203-210.

____. 2013. “Unsafe Travel: Experiencing Intersectionality and Feminist Displacements.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38 (4): 869-892.

Lombardo, Emanuela, and Lise Rolandsen Agustín. 2014. “The Articulation of Intersectionality in EU Gender Based Violence Policies.” Glasgow, UK: ECPR General Conference 2014, University of Glasgow.


Lykke, Nina. 2010. Feminist Studies: A Guide to Intersectional Theory, Methodology and Writing. New York, NY: Routledge.

Office for National Statistics. 2015. Violent Crime and Sexual Offences – Homicide: Findings from the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales and police recorded crime over the same period on violent crime and sexual offences. http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/compendium/focusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences/2015-02-12/chapter2violentcrimeandsexualoffenceshomicide#victims.

Patel, Pragna, and Hannana Siddiqui. 2010. “Shrinking Secular Spaces: Asian Women at the Intersect of Race, Religion and Gender.” In Violence against Women in South Asian Communities: Issues for Policy and Practice, edited by Ravi K. Thiara and Aisha K. Gill, 102-127. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Patil, Vrushali. 2013. “From Patriarchy to Intersectionality: A Transnational Feminist Assessment of How Far We’ve Really Come.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38 (4): 847-867.

Phillips, Anne. 2007. Multi-Culturalism Without Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Phoenix, Ann. 1987. “Theories of Gender and Black Families.” In Gender Under Scrutiny, edited by Gaby Weiner and Madeleine Arnot, 50-63. London. UK: Hutchinson.

Phoenix, Ann, and Pamela Pattynama. 2006. “Intersectionality.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 13 (3): 187-192.

Puar, Jasbir K. 2012. “‘I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess’: Becoming-Intersectional in Assemblage Theory.” philoSOPHIA 2 (1): 49-66.

____. 2013. “‘I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess’: Intersectionality, Assemblage and Affective politics.” Meritum Belo Horizonte 8 (2): 371-390.

Razack, Sherene. 2004. “Imperilled Muslim Women, Dangerous Muslim Men and Civilised Europeans: Legal and Social Responses to Forced Marriage.” Feminist Legal Studies 12: 129-174.

R (Kaur & Shah) v London Borough of Ealing [2008] EWHC 2062 (Admin).

Said, Edward W. 2000. “Traveling Theory Reconsidered.” In Reflections on Exile and Other Literary and Cultural Essays, by Edward W. Said, 436-452. London, UK: Granta Publications.

Siddiqui, Nadia, Sajida Ismail, and Meg Allen. 2008. Safe to Return? Pakistani Women, Domestic Violence and Access to Refugee Protection – A Report of a Trans-National Research Project Conducted in the UK and Pakistan. Manchester, UK: South Manchester Law Centre and Women’s Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Thiara, Ravi K., and Sumanta Roy. 2010. Vital Statistics: The Experiences of BAMER Women & Children Facing Violence & Abuse. London, UK: Imkaan.

Tomlinson, Barbara. 2013. “Colonising Intersectionality: Replicating Racial Hierarchy in Feminist Academic Arguments.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 19 (2): 254-272.

Walby, Sylvia, and Jude Towers. 2012. “Measuring the Impact of Cuts in Public Expenditure on the Provision of Services to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls.” Safe - The Domestic Abuse Quarterly 41. Bristol, UK: Women’s Aid Federation of England.

Women’s Aid. 2014. Why We Need to Save our Services: Women’s Aid Data Report on Specialist Domestic Violence Services in England. Bristol, UK: Women’s Aid Federation of England.


Yuval-Davis, Nira. 2006. “Intersectionality and Feminist Politics.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 13 (3): 193-209.