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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

“People don’t talk about it”: Child sexual abuse in ethnic minority communities


The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Inquiry’) has been tasked with considering the extent to which state and non-state institutions in England and Wales have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and to make meaningful recommendations for change.

Child sexual abuse and exploitation affects all communities,[1] however less is known about how it affects those from ethnic minority communities.[2] The aims of this research were therefore to explore:

  • how ethnic minority communities perceive and experience barriers to disclosing and reporting child sexual abuse;
  • their experiences of, and interactions with, institutions in relation to child sexual abuse; and
  • the nature of support victims and survivors receive.

We engaged with a range of ethnic minority communities, particularly from Caribbean, African and predominantly South Asian[3] ethnicities, including victims and survivors.[4] This small-scale, qualitative research provides a contemporary insight from people in these communities and amplifies their voices and experiences.



  1. We recognise that the term ‘community’ means different things to different people and this is further explored in Chapter 4 of this report.
  2. The phrase ‘ethnic minority communities’ is used as an umbrella term to refer to specific ethnic group categories such as ‘black’, ‘black Caribbean’, ‘Asian’, ‘Indian’ (Office for National Statistics, 2019).
  3. We use the term ‘South Asian’ to refer to the Indian subcontinent. In our sample, participants from South Asian ethnic groups included individuals with Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani ethnicities.
  4. The term ‘victims and survivors’ is defined in this report as individuals who have been sexually abused as children. Please see Appendix B: Glossary for more information.
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