Edinburgh Research Explorer

‘Hearing the Right Gaps’: Enabling and Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence within the UK Asylum Process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions



  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Rights statement: © The Authors (2012). This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in Social & Legal Studies, 2012, 21:269. The final publication is available at http://www.sagepublications.com

    Accepted author manuscript, 243 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages29
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


The barriers that prevent or delay female victims of sexual assault from disclosing to criminal justice authorities, and the obstacles that often disincline professional and lay decision-makers from finding such narratives credible, have been well documented. This article explores the extent to which such difficulties may be replicated, and compounded, in the case of female asylum-seekers; it will examine the complex ways in which the structure and processes, as well as the heavily politicised context, of asylum decision-making may contribute towards a silencing of sexual assault narratives. The article will explore the ways in which the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, language and nationality present distinct challenges to women asylum applicants for whom an alleged rape is a part of their claim, and reflect on some of the difficulties this presents in terms of assessing the credibility of sexual assault allegations, and of the overall asylum claim.

    Research areas

  • asylum, Rape, trauma, narrative, disclosure, culture

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 4193165