Here at Apna Haq, we conduct our own research and collaborate with others to develop evidence on the effects of violence against women and girls (VAWG) from Black and minoritised communities.

As a sector-leader in the UK, Apna Haq is uniquely positioned to contribute to studies, research and knowledge exchange. We are open to research collaborations and welcome any new opportunities via our Contact us page.

Below you will find examples of our latest research and collaborations.


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

The CSA (Child Sexual Abuse Centre of Expertise) asked the Race Equality Foundation to carry out research to identify good or better practice in working with Caribbean, Asian, African and other minoritised children, young people and their families. Our Chief Executive, Zlakha Ahmed took part in an in-depth face to face interview so share a professional’s view on what is important to understand when working with Black and minoritised children and young people who may be at risk of, or experiencing child sexual abuse.

Read the report: "People don't talk about it"


University of Bristol research into Sharia Councils

We assisted Fouzia Azzouz (PhD) at the University of Bristol in her research of the topic of Sharia Councils and reform in Britain. Fouzia required research participants who have used the services of a Sharia Council (or a religious scholar or imam) to solve marriage problems. It was hoped that with our participation the research could bring some pragmatic solutions to the problems that British Muslim couples - and women in particular - face when seeking help from both religious and legal authorities.

Rotherham research into adult survivors of child sexual exploitation

Zlakha Ahmed engaged with local research in Rotherham on adult survivors of child sexual exploitation. We recruited some service users to also join in. A number of sessions were held at the Apna Haq offices and a thought mapping diagram was produced by the group, reflecting the issues faced by children and young people from Black and minoritised communities who often are not seen or heard by professionals and agencies.

Domestic Abuse Training Game

A new and novel training aid has been developed by a University of Sheffield academic to help healthcare professionals support victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). This interactive board game can be used by health and social care professionals to enhance their training, further understand the complexities of DVA and help them creatively explore ways to support those in their care. Our CEO and a number of service users took part in giving feedback to Dr Parveen Ali while she was developing the game.

Zlakha said:

"The game is very much welcomed as a teaching method that will lead to good practice. I am impressed with the in-depth thinking that has gone into its development and was particularly pleased to see that issues faced by Black and minoritised women have been incorporated."

NIHR research into primary care nurses

A research study by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), titled 'Do primary care nurses provide appropriate care to women victims of domestic violence from black and minority ethnic communities' began in October 2017.

The research lead to the development of an educational resource to support nurses working in primary care who provide support and care to victims of domestic violence from Black and minoritised communities. Apna Haq were part of the project advisory group for the study and helped with identification and recruitment of participants.


Kings College London research: female survivors of honour-based violence and domestic abuse

A PhD researcher from Kings College London conducted interviews with Apna Haq service users, examining the experience of south Asian female survivors of honour-based violence and domestic abuse. The purpose of the research is to help better understand the experience of female research participants from the community so that we can help improve services and support for these women. The research is titled: Research on the changing meaning of honour among victims of domestic violence from the immigrant community in the UK: A case study of women from South Asia.


Fatima Network research

The Fatima Network grew out of the Fatima Project (2014-2016), and now encompasses 15 UK-based Black and minoritised women’s groups and organisations.

The Fatima Project raised other issues which could not be fully explored at the time, and now extra funding has been secured to further research the additional barriers faced by Black and minoritised survivors of violence against women and girls (VAWG) and the unique contribution Black and minoritised women's organisations make, specifically in northern England.

As one of the Fatima Network organisations in northern England, Apna Haq is currently participating in this research led by The Angelou Centre and the Fatima Network. The project outcomes include:

  • Increased knowledge and data on the experiences of Black and minoritised women and girls; community and agency responses to their needs in relation to domestic and sexual abuse; and effective interventions addressing these needs.
  • Increased policy, advocacy and voice by Black and minoritised women and girls and their groups/organisations to tackle domestic and sexual abuse.
  • Increased knowledge and skills of individuals/organisations in building influential relationships.
  • Improved policy and practice for Black and minoritised survivors of domestic and sexual violence.


Needs Analysis Report following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013)

Following the inquiry report issued by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) titled: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013), the council conducted a Needs Analysis Report to develop longer-term proposals to ensure accessible service provision for victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE).

The council engaged the University of Salford to provide research governance and worked with community organisations including Apna Haq to provide access to the under-represented populations in question.

Read the final report: 'Needs Analysis Report following the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Rotherham'

University of Warwick research

The Centre for the Study of Safety and Well-being at the University of Warwick, in partnership with Imkaan, undertook a research project into: 'Sexual Violence in the Lives of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Women: Disclosure, Help-seeking and Professional Responses'. The research aimed to:

  • Strengthen current responses
  • Support advocacy with decision leaders
  • Develop best-practice tools for local organisations supporting Black and minoritised women who experience violence.

Read the findings of the first phase of the research in the report 'Between the Lines'.

The second phase of the research set out to:

  • Document Black and minoritised survivor voices/experiences
  • Strengthen responses to Black and minoritised women and girls
  • Build an evidence-base of existing models/promising practice within the independent, specialist rape crisis centres, and Black and minoritised VAWG sector
  • Further explore gaps in national/regional policy and practice.

Apna Haq assisted the researchers to speak with survivors who have accessed our support, and who were willing to speak out about their experiences of accessing help after sexual violence.

This page will be updated with research reports when they become available.