How to increase sexual abuse reporting by British South Asian women
Join the Centre for Criminology for an insightful online seminar with Professor Aisha K. Gill Ph.D. CBE
Professor Aisha K. Gill, Ph.D. (University of Essex) CBE is Professor of Criminology at University of Roehampton, UK. She has been involved in addressing the problem of violence against women and girls/, 'honour' crimes and forced marriage at the grassroots/activist level for the past 22 years. Her current research interests include domestic violence; coercive control; rights, law and early/child/forced marriage/female genital mutilation; 'honour' killings and 'honour'-based violence in the South Asian/Kurdish/Somali Diaspora and femicide in Iraqi Kurdistan, India, Jordan, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen; missing women; acid violence; child contact; trafficking; sexual violence and exploitation; sex selective abortions; intersectionality and women who kill; nexus of rape and trauma in Black and minoritised communities; Covid 19 and domestic violence. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. In 2019, she was appointed Co-Chair of End Violence Against Women Coalition. During the coronavirus pandemic, she has been hands on at the grassroots level in terms of raising emergency Covid-19 funds for abused migrant women and children, who have no recourse to public funds.
The policing of racially minoritised communities has a chequered history in the UK: institutional racism, over-policing and under-protection are rife. While several studies have been conducted on how race influences police practice, little research has examined how the intersections of race, gender and policing may contribute to the low rate of sexual abuse reporting by racially minoritised women. Current literature attributes such low reporting to the institutional racism still present in some aspects of community policing, this argument is an oversimplification as it overlooks the other factors aside from race that influence reporting. This paper uses empirical research conducted within a feminist framework to examine how four British police force areas currently respond to sexual abuse incidents involving female survivors from the British South Asian community.2 It offers an intersectional feminist analysis of what more the police and other statutory agencies can do to increase sexual abuse reporting from British South Asian and other racially minoritised women. Some of the questions it addresses include how the police handle sexual abuse reports in cases where gender and race intersect, why British South Asian women often do not report sexual abuse to the police, and what more can be done to encourage increased reporting in British South Asian and other racially minoritised communities.
This seminar is part of an online open seminar series, hosted by the Centre for Criminology.
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