Research gaps: child sexual abuse of African, Asian and Caribbean children and young people. 

Highlighting current gaps in research

The Project

  • There is often an assumption that girls and young women from Black and South Asian communities are unlikely to be victims of CSA – and where they do not conform to this stereotype, professionals may not know how to react.
  • Black and Asian boys and young men are often criminalised and assumed to be gang members; they typically come to services’ attention because they have committed offences or displayed harmful sexual behaviour, with no recognition that this may indicate they are victims of CSA
  • There is evidence to suggest resistance within agencies to acknowledging that children and young people from some ethnic backgrounds can be victims of abuse (Berelowitz et al, 2013; The Children’s Society, 2018a).
  • The barriers to disclosing CSA are considerable for any child, but research suggests that those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities face additional barriers to making a disclosure – and to maintaining it.
  • There is relatively little literature relating to professional practice with children and young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities who may be at risk of, or experiencing, CSA.

– CSA Centre, Improving responses to the sexual abuse of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children

Lead by the Barnardo’s CSA Centre, this project aims to produce an up-to-date picture of current research in the area of child sexual abuse affecting African, Asian and Caribbean children and young people (both published and unpublished), and to highlight the gaps in this research. Specifically, it will seek to: 

1. Provide an overview of existing research and of research which is underway in relation to the identification and response to sexually abused children and young people of African, Asian and Caribbean heritage, and to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. 

2. Identify the most important evidence gaps in research to date.  

3. Recommend which of these evidence gaps we could most useful to address, and how moving forward

Within these tasks an intersectional approach will be taken, attending to other elements of inequality such as gender, disability and sexual orientation to provide an in depth analysis of data.

Let’s work together

At SEEN, we pride ourselves on the work we do, and are striving to achieve our aims of creating a society where children and young people of African, Asian and Caribbean heritage have equitable futures – working with our partners to deliver these solutions. If you are interested in working with us on this, please get in touch below.