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Safina Khan


  • PhD student


Thesis supervisors

Thesis topic

Child Sexual Exploitation within the South Asian Community: Exploring the support available, implemented and required by victims from frontline services in order to help equip them with confidence to report the abuse.

Thesis summary

Concerns around CSE are an increasingly high profile issue. Although the media attention on this vital issue has been welcomed by services fighting against CSE there has been concerns that the media portrayal of victims being exclusively white is a far from true reflection of those at risk. Victims come from all ethnic backgrounds regardless of how protected or conservative children may appear.

Although statistics suggest that the number of reported cases of CSE have increased, the number of victims from certain communities continue to under report, one of which is the South Asian Community. The notion of honour and shame often prevents victims from this community to report cases of CSE due to the fear of being stigmatized and shunned by the community and their families.

Victims within this community are often silenced or blamed for the abuse that they have been a victim of. The research will consider what frontline services need to do in order to identify ways of reaching out to the BME communities and provide them with the confidence to disclose and report abuse.

This research will attempt to address this issue by speaking directly to victims about the support they feel they need in order to help them report CSE and to effectively overcome this in a way that is culturally sensitive and acceptable to them. The support currently in place within frontline services (if any) will also be explored and its effectiveness evaluated.


Research interests

  • Child protection services
  • Child sexual exploitation 
  • Cultural competence
  • Social Inequalities 
  • Understanding the support for different communities
  • Improving practice in frontline services

Previous Study

  • MA Applied Human Rights, University of York 
  • BA (hons) Social Work, University of Bradford 

I am a PhD student in the School for Business and Society at the University of York. I am also a practising frontline Social Worker in Child Protection and have been qualified for over six years.

I have a keen interest in minority communities and implementing support specific to their cultural needs in order for them to feel confident in accessing all frontline line and other services that will improve outcomes in life.

Contact details

Safina Khan

PhD student,
School for Business and Society
RCSS Building
Innovation Way
University of York