An Intersectional and Structural Analysis of the Crimes Experienced By and Perpetrated By Racialized Migrant Women in Canada

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Hijin PARK, Brock University, Canada
This paper analyzes the relationship between female offending and victimization by examining how the intersections of gender, race, class and immigration shape the crimes experienced by and perpetrated by racialized migrant women in Canada. It does so by focusing on two cases in which racialized migrant women have been charged with manslaughter or homicide. In 2002 Rie Fujii, a 23-year-old Japanese national who had overstayed her visitor visa, received an eight year sentence in the deaths of her two Canadian born children. In 2008 Theresa Pohchoo Craig, a 49-year-old Malaysian woman, who met her husband, Jack Craig, on an online dating website, was found guilty of manslaughter in the stabbing death of Jack Craig. In both cases the criminalized women were physically, emotionally and/or sexually abused by their white Canadian partners. Through an analysis of the publicly available judicial documents relating to the crimes of Rie Fujii and Theresa Pohchoo Craig, this paper explores how the law’s individualization and medicalization of crime and violence may obscure the multiple forms of everyday and structural violence that racialized women in Canada experience and may perpetrate. My interest is not in proposing causes and solutions for maternal filicide and spousal battery related homicides, or suggesting ways that the Canadian criminal justice system can better meet the needs of criminalized racialized women. Rather, I focus on the availability and construction of certain narratives as truths, and as a corollary, I highlight how the negation of contextual and structural elements can prevent the violence of white settler colonialism, gendered racism and heteropatriarchy from being considered.