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Underreporting sexual violence among 'ethnic' migrant women : perspectives from Aotearoa/New Zealand Setayesh Rahmanipour, Shannon Kumar and Rachel Simon-Kumar

By: Rahmanipour, Setayesh.
Contributor(s): Kumar, Shannon | Simon-Kumar, Rachel.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: Culture, Health and Sexuality.Publisher: Taylor & Francis, 2019Subject(s): CULTURE | ETHNICITY | MIGRANTS | PREVALENCE | QUALITATIVE RESEARCH | SEXUAL VIOLENCE | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Read the abstract In: Culture, Health and Sexuality, 2019, Advance online publication, 2 January 2019Summary: In Aotearoa/New Zealand, sexual violence within minority ethnic communities is endemic, but grossly underreported. This paper presents the results of two small-scale qualitative studies that explored key issues in the underreporting of sexual violence. In-depth interviews were undertaken with key informants including academics, specialist sexual violence practitioners and community/social workers. The study identified two main factors that led to underreporting: first, internalised barriers as a result of a ‘white’ and ‘male’ gaze; and second, the cultural relativitism of meanings of violence. Themes within these broader areas highlighted issues of stigma; defensiveness surrounding traditional norms, especially concerning gender roles; and the referencing of minority group identity, as deterrents to disclosure and reporting. The paper also explored the implications of underreporting for help-seeking behaviours among women and for developing systems for the collection of robust evidence of sexual violence among minority ethnic women. The paper concludes with recommendations for improved strategic efforts to encourage safe disclosure among women in minority ethnic communities who experience sexual violence. (Authors' abstract). Record #6109
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Culture, Health and Sexuality, 2019, Advance online publication, 2 January 2019

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, sexual violence within minority ethnic communities is endemic, but grossly underreported. This paper presents the results of two small-scale qualitative studies that explored key issues in the underreporting of sexual violence. In-depth interviews were undertaken with key informants including academics, specialist sexual violence practitioners and community/social workers. The study identified two main factors that led to underreporting: first, internalised barriers as a result of a ‘white’ and ‘male’ gaze; and second, the cultural relativitism of meanings of violence. Themes within these broader areas highlighted issues of stigma; defensiveness surrounding traditional norms, especially concerning gender roles; and the referencing of minority group identity, as deterrents to disclosure and reporting. The paper also explored the implications of underreporting for help-seeking behaviours among women and for developing systems for the collection of robust evidence of sexual violence among minority ethnic women. The paper concludes with recommendations for improved strategic efforts to encourage safe disclosure among women in minority ethnic communities who experience sexual violence. (Authors' abstract). Record #6109