Over two-thirds of British Asians think reporting child abuse would have a negative effect on the ‘honour’ of a child’s family, according to a survey published today by the NSPCC.
More than half of 500 respondents, drawn from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, also felt that their own family’s honour or ‘Izzat’ would suffer if they reported child abuse to the authorities.
Izzat means that the family comes before the individual.
The survey also revealed that 37 per cent of the sample had suspected a child had been abused and half of them knew the child personally. However, 42 per cent did nothing about their concerns.
NSPCC Asian Helpline Manager Saleha Islam said: “Child abuse happens in all communities and there is no evidence that it is greater among British Asians. However, cultural issues and the importance placed on family reputation could mean that it is hidden away.”
She added: “We want to send out a message to the British Asian community that putting up a wall of silence will not protect children. It will only protect the abuser who will be free to abuse again.”