Northern Rakhine State in Myanmar is inhabited by a majority Arakanese Muslim population and a minority Rakhine Buddhist population, in a state that is largely Buddhist and authoritarian. The recent history of exclusionary citizenship policies and consequent military operations against Arakanese Muslims, often called Rohingyas, have led them to flee Myanmar and take shelter in Bangladesh. In this study, I examine and review the stereotypes of each of these groups, implicated in the exclusionary nationalist policies of the Myanmar state, and the general hostility expressed towards the refugees by the host community in Bangladesh, with a view to understanding the multi-layered spaces of violence in which they live. The aim of this study is to elucidate protection mechanisms against such violence from the perspectives of refugees themselves. This is done through practices and observations noted by the author while engendering participatory processes among Rohingya refugees as part of a project being implemented by the organisation, Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB).