Exploring the life stories of South Asian women survivors of sexual violence

Exploring the life stories of South Asian women survivors of sexual violence

The banner has the words Manchester Rape Crisis in the middle with other phrases and images stitched around it
A handmade banner featuring words and images of empowerment. GMRC

Heritage Grants

Manchester Rape Crisis
What will people say? was an oral history project led by Greater Manchester Rape Crisis (GMRC) in partnership with the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre and Education Trust.  

Between autumn 2019 and spring 2023, the project explored the life stories of South Asian women affected by sexual violence.

The life stories of five individual women known to GMRC were recorded and turned into a series of insightful films. GMRC also held workshops to explore older women’s views of sexual relationships more broadly, involving South Asian women aged 55 and over.

GMRC are now aiming to use their project’s findings and key messages to inform both communities and professionals to promote learning, raise awareness, facilitate community conversations and improve professional practice.  

Five women stand side by side with white sheets covering their faces bearing the words "break the silence"

Empowering women survivors 

  • The women’s interviews and transcripts will become a valuable collection at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre and Education Trust, giving a platform to the voices of the women survivors who have taken part in this project. 
  • The recordings are to be held securely in the archives for 100 years to protect the women’s identities. 
  • The stories told in their own words offer unique insights and support the centre’s work to uncover, record and collect lesser-known and marginalised histories.

While the five women who were interviewed are all South Asian Muslims, GMRC knows from experience that sexual violence occurs in all communities, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and class. The findings of the project will be used to inform their future work across all communities within Greater Manchester. 

To mark the completion of the project, GMRC held a film event at HOME in Manchester to coincide with International Women’s Day 2023. All the films are available to watch on Greater Manchester Rape Crisis’ website

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