Powerful cultural norms in South Asian communities in England and Wales are preventing incidences of sexual violence being reported according to study at a University of Hull …reports Asian Lite news
Concepts such as honour, shame, modesty and stigma are strong barriers to reporting sexual abuse according to the research.
Data suggests that incidences of sexual violence among South Asian women and children are low but leading research – by Dr Karen Harrison, University of Hull and Dr Aisha K. Gill, University of Roehampton – has found these crimes are happening but are not being reported due to particular cultural norms that exist within these communities.
Interviews with victims, practitioners and focus group discussions with women living in South Asian communities in England and Wales also revealed a lack of awareness of what constitute sexual abuse – particularly regarding marital rape.
Dr Karen Harrison, a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Hull, says , “Not only may fears surrounding the consequences of disclosing incidences of sexual violence stop victims seeking help, our research has also found that practical issues such as language barriers and a lack of adequate police training can also prevent these crimes being reported.
Our work has uncovered a number of initiatives operating in these communities that raise awareness of what constitutes sexual violence and encourages women and children to report crimes in a way they feel safe.’’
The research was presented as part of a one-day conference hosted by the University of Hull today –‘Preventing Sexual Violence in South Asian Communities’. The research is funded by the British Academy