Taj, Sohail (2018) Domestic Abuse and Islam in the British South Asian community. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

South Asian Muslim women, like the vast majority of women regardless of their cultural background, find the first steps of acknowledging and reporting domestic abuse extremely difficult. However, the cultural context and the pressure applied to South Asian Muslim women in particular is unique to their communities. In order to understand the barriers South Asian Muslim women face to reporting domestic abuse, qualitative research was undertaken with six participants who work with South Asian Muslim women in the field of domestic abuse. In-depth interviews were conducted which were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative phenomenological analysis. One of the key findings was the issue of power; victims who believed perpetrators had a divine right to exert their will on their spouses were more likely to endure the abuse, under the false notion it was their kismet (fate). A further finding was the fact that domestic abuse did not occur within a vacuum, rather many aspects of a victim’s life intersect to form a unique perception of domestic abuse. It is this unique experience which informs the response an individual will have when confronted with domestic abuse. Therefore, it is vitally important that attitudes towards domestic abuse are challenged openly on a community and national scale. The further understanding of these unique yet intersecting barriers can allow for more in depth and accurate data to be collected. This in turn can better inform interventions and policies to target those most at risk from domestic abuse.

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