Vulnerable encounters? Investigating vulnerability in interpreter-mediated services for victim-survivors of domestic violence and abuse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter revisits and presents new findings from data collected over a five-year period (2015–20) on interpreter services in statutory and charity service settings for victim-survivors of domestic abuse and violence in England, in order to think through and problematise vulnerability in the context of service interactions, in institutional guidance on working with interpreters, and in interpreter talk about occupational experiences in these settings. The interpreter-mediated encounter is conceived as a site, following Määttä, Puumala and Ylikomi where different forms of vulnerability co-exist and where all parties exhibit and respond to their own and others’ vulnerability in different ways. A relational approach foregrounds the limited language proficient service user’s struggle for autonomy and the risks taken by interpreters and primary service providers to facilitate it, opening up potential for a ‘future-oriented’ approach to interpreting to support service user autonomy and self-determination, based on a view of victim-survivors as capable agents, as opposed to passive recipients of care. Finally, re-analysis of interview data reveals the many forms of ‘professional vulnerability’ that interpreters experience in these service settings, both within and outside of specific encounters, leading to questions about how interpreters develop effective strategies and receive adequate support to mitigate its effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Encyclopedia of Public Service Interpreting
EditorsLaura Gavioli, Cecila Wadensjo
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter11
Pages175-191
Number of pages17
EditionFirst
ISBN (Electronic)9780429298202
ISBN (Print)9781032391151, 9780367278427
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

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