Quetzal Breaking the Silence Initiative (QBS) aims to raise awareness about the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and the value of counselling in South Asian communities in Leicester City using a community-based approach.

Childhood Sexual abuse is prevalent across all communities and backgrounds with 11% of women (from 20, 582 adults) surveyed by the Crime Survey for England and Wales in 2016 reporting child sexual abuse before the age of 16. Childhood sexual abuse is one of the most under-reported forms of abuse, as the perpetrator is usually, always known to the child – making it the ultimate betrayal of trust.


One of the communities that consistently under-reports childhood sexual abuse is the South Asian Community. Shame and Honour tend to be instilled into people being brought up in these cultures; this makes taking the first step to access help even more difficult and dangerous.

Through the QBS initiative, Quetzal is assessing the effectiveness of a community-based approach to more women from South Asian background living in Leicester to access counselling in a way that is safe and respectful of their privacy.

What do we do in Leicester as part of the QBS initiative?

  • Quetzal runs drop-in events and engage with communities to increase awareness on the benefits and value of counselling and the impacts of the abuse on mental health.
  • Quetzal has venues unknown to the community at large for women to access counselling for free. Our volunteer counsellors work with women from all cultures and backgrounds.
  • Quetzal trains volunteer community connector with the skills and knowledge to engage with communities and inform them about the available services to them in Leicester.

How can you help?

  1. Share this page with the communities that you know would benefit from this information
  2. Invite us to share with your community how the trauma of childhood sexual abuse affects women’s day-to-day lives and their community’s wellbeing, and explain how counselling can be a road to recovery. 
  3. Become a volunteer community connector and be trained with the skills and knowledge to raise awareness in your community.
  4. Take Part in Quetzal Voices by sharing a story that would support women in their journey towards recovery.
  5. Donate so we can provide free counselling sessions in outreach venues across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The project is funded through the Tampon Tax Fund and through the co-partnership between Comic Relief and the Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DMCS). The knowledge gathered through project will support funders and partners in the sexual and domestic violence sector to engage further with BME communities.

Breaking the Silence Initiative
Breaking the Silence Initiative