Work towards change in South Asian Communities by participating in this research exploring the impacts of child sexual abuse of female adult victims

Vanisha Jassal, senior lecturer at the University of Kent is inviting female adult victims of child sexual abuse from South Asian Communities and practitioners to participate in her doctoral research exploring the intra-familial child sexual abuse of females within South Asian families living in England.

Please find below details about:

  • the aims and purpose of her research,
  • her research methods,
  • how she plan to deal with the research in sensitive and confidential ways
  • Contact to participate in the research
  • and how Quetzal can support you in this journey if you are living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Your voice will support our joint work towards change.

What are the aims and purpose of the research?

Child sexual abuse is a traumatic experience for children and young people and the emotional damage this has upon individuals is well documented. 

In all communities, it largely remains the ‘hidden’ form of abuse, as disclosure by victims is rare and often takes place once they are in adulthood.  Its pervasiveness is therefore difficult to determine but research generally shows that it occurs more frequently than official statistics indicate and what the general public may assume. 

For these reasons, and others, it also remains a challenge for practitioners in terms of assessing this abuse and putting in place relevant interventions. 

This is found to be even more the case for children from South Asian communities, namely, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani heritage.  This is likely to be because of concepts such as ‘Shame’ and ‘Honour’ which are likely to reinforce the silence of this abuse.  My research seeks to increase our understanding about this. 

What are the research methods?

I will be undertaking one to one conversations with Survivors and practitioners.

The meeting will last one hour and will be audio-recorded so that I as the researcher can focus on the session rather than on making notes.

It is a common feature of research and I will be the sole person listening to the audio and transcribing the material from the audio. This will be clearly explained to participants. 

What are your plan to conduct the research with sensitivity and confidentiality?

I understand the difficulty of talking about this subject matter so will undertake my research in the most sensitive and confidential way, making the research participation as comfortable as possible. 

I will also be abiding by the University of Kent research ethics standards.  All participation will be confidential and all information anonymized throughout.

Participants will have the right to withdraw their involvement from the project at any time before or during the sessions. 

Only I as the researcher will have access to the audios and transcripts and participants will be given a copy of the transcripts to check and keep. 

All of this will be outlined on the consent form so that participants are clear about all of this prior to their involvement.  The participant will be asked to sign this form to indicate that they have understood all of this.

The sessions will be taking place in locations convenient to the participant if this is preferred and will be sought out by me as the researcher and I will reimburse reasonable travel costs. 

Vanisha Jassal, Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent

Contact details to participate in the research

I am a female of Indian heritage; second generation, born in England.  The research can include participants for whom English may not be a first language as I am fluent in Punjabi and Hindi.   Other languages can be accommodated for through an interpreter as appropriate.

Please note that the participants will all be over 21 years of age and will be sharing experiences from historical, closed cases and not cases which are currently under investigation.      

Please email me at or call me on 07958 558 193. 

If you think that your organisation can assist in this research or if you wish to discuss this research further, please contact me.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this information and I very much hope that we can work together during this research.

A word from Quetzal

Breaking the Silence about Childhood Sexual Abuse can lead us towards change as more people understand what are the needs and requirements for supporting individuals and specific communities.

As part of the Breaking the Silence Initiative and through Quetzal Voices, we are learning and making the changes  so that more women who experienced childhood sexual abuse can access our services when they are ready.

To submit a story about your involvement in creating change so that more women who experience childhood sexual abuse can decide if they are ready to access support, write to media (at)

If you want to start your counselling journey, call us now on 0333 101 4280.

Every Thursday, for the last two years, a diverse group of individuals comes for a Coffee Morning brought in association with Wesley Hall Community Centre in Leicester to discuss a different topic each week.

Anyone is welcome to attend. All you have to do is to send a text to Hafeeza for her to send you the details to the meeting. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, all the meeting are currently held on Zoom.

Brewtiful Mornings

Marie from Quetzal, attended a morning gathering at the beginning of the month after Josez Pinder at Amitai Counselling, introduced her to Haafeeza, the Coffee Morning meeting organiser.

The theme of the conversation was mental health. Each attendee shared how mental health issues can impact on one’s life, their techniques to support their wellbeing, and how grateful they were for having a community that cares and discusses mental health issues. Marie shared Quetzal work with the attendees as well as the Breaking the Silence Initiative. The attendees seemed attentive as Marie emphasised on the role of communities in supporting women and men recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, and signposting people to support, so that when people are ready, they can take the steps to access support.

This is what Marie shared about her experience at the Coffee Morning:

”My experience at at the Coffee Morning was elevating as I was able to connect with the lived experience of the attendees living and working in Leicester and who are from so many diverse places in the world including the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Germany, Pakistan, India, Nigeria and more.  I am grateful for sharing the opportunity. I want to thank everyone at the meeting for making me and everyone’s else feel welcome, the display of attention, care and respect they have for each other, and for all the learning about the ways people deal with what life throw at them sometimes, and all of the times.”  

As a result of her experience, Marie wanted to share with Quetzal community the opportunity to attend the Coffee Morning by contacting Haafeeza, hence this post. Marie also shared with the group a list of agencies in Leicester that can support men and women who may be dealing with difficulties so that when they need it, they can access support.

Hope you get the chance to attend a coffee morning and share your experience with your peers and family, so they may be inspired to attend too, once or more.

If you have a story to share about your involvement with a community that cares about women recovering from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse in Leicester, please visit Quetzal Voices and email us at media(@) 

Decentered Media

Marie Lefebvre from Quetzal went on the Decentered Media Podcast to discuss the Community Solutions for breaking the silence about the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.

Click here to listen the podcast 

Quetzal delivers counselling services to support women in breaking the bars and psychological cages of the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. They are also in a path to raise further 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 through the Breaking the Silence Initiative.

Through the podcast, Marie described to John Coster and Dr Rob Watson, how through creative storytelling, each one of us in our own capacity can help in breaking the silence for people to eventually find their own voice in our society.

With the extended lockdown happening in Leicester, it is primordial than each of us find ways to communicate valuable information to people in our community that will support their mental and physical health, and to empower each one of us with strength to voice our needs and concerns.

At Quetzal, we hope by listening to the podcast, you’ll be inspired to share your story,contribute to and subscribe to Quetzal voices.

Together, we will amplify the voice and wishes of the community where every women and men who experienced abuse know that if they need and want to, they can access support.