Sexual and gender-based violence against refugees: experiences from displacement to arrival
The SEREDA Project (SExual and gender-based violence against Refugees: Experiences from Displacement to Arrival), funded by the Wellcome Trust, Volkswagen Stiftung and Riksbankens Jubileumsfon through the Europe and Global Challenges Initiative, is a major research initiative being undertakn in the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden and Turkey by a multi-country research team (University of Birmingham, University of Melbourne, Uppsala University and Bilkent University).
The research will increase understanding of the incidence and nature of sexual and gender-based violence experienced by refugees fleeing unrest in the Levant Region (with a focus on Syria and Iraq), to strengthen mechanisms for recognising and recording the extent of sexual and gender-based violence, and for providing appropriate responses – from the time of displacement, whilst in transit, and upon resettlement. The project will examine how the health and social consequences of sexual and gender-based violence are identified and treated, and how they shape inequalities in life chances in different countries of refuge.
The project is being conducted in partnership with national and international NGOs providing services and support to refugees who have experienced violence, including the Women’s Refugee Commission, Doctors of the World, Foundation House and the (Turkish) Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants.
For any enquiries regarding the SEREDA Project please contact:
Institute for Research Into Superdiversity,
School of Social Policy,
University of Birmingham
Learn more about the SEREDA Project
(University of Birmingham website)
University of Melbourne Researchers
Cathy Vaughan [Centre for Women’s Health, Gender & Society, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]
Karen Block [Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]
Bernadette McSherry [Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Melbourne Law School]
Jeanine Hourani [Centre for Women’s Health, Gender & Society, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]
Researchers from Partner Institutions
Jenny Phillimore [University of Birmingham, UK]
Lisa Goodson [University of Birmingham, UK]
Hoayda Darkal [Univeristy of Birmingham, UK]
Dawn River [University of Birmingham, UK]
Hannah Bradby [Uppsala University, Sweden]
Saime Ozcurumez [Bilkent University, Turkey]
Selina Kyuz [Bilkent University, Turkey]
Hala Nasr [University of Melbourne]
Claire Sullivan [University of Melbourne]
Sara Alsaraf [University of Birmingham, UK]
Sandra Pertek [University of Birmingham, UK]
Sian Thomas [University of Birmingham, UK]
Forced migration and sexual and gender-based violence: findings from the SEREDA project in the UK, launched 29 November 2021.
Books, Chapters and Articles
Phillimore, J. Pertek, S., Akyuz, S., Darkal, H., Hourani, J., McKnight, P., Ozcurumez, S., Taal, S. (2021) “We are Forgotten”: Forced Migration, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and Coronavirus Disease-2019. Violence Against Women.
Phillimore, J. and Goodson, L. (in press) Delivering social welfare in the age of superdiversity. London: Routledge.
Ozcurumez, S., Akyuz, S. and Bradby, H. (2020) The conceptualization problem in research and responses to sexual and gender-based violence in forced migration, Journal of Gender Studies.
Akyüz, S. and Özgün T. (2019), When Syrian ‘Girls’ meet Turkish ‘Boys’: Mapping Gendered Stories of Mixed Marriages. Middle East Critique. 28:1, 29-49.
Bailey, I. and Darkal, H. (2018) (Not) talking about justice: the unspoken challenges of integrating energy and environmental justice in renewable energy siting. Local Environment. 23(3), 335-351.
Pertek, S.I, Sharifa, A. (2018) Don’t Force Me. A policy brief on early and forced marriage. Islamic Relief Worldwide. Birmingham. Available at:
http://www.islamic-relief.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FORCED-MARRIAGE-CSW62.pdf (Accessed 13 June 2018)
Surti A., Pertek S.I. (2018) Lessons learnt from Somali Regional State of Ethiopia: Combating Gender-based Violence against Women and Girls in Dekasuftu Woreda. Faith inspired action to end GBV. Islamic Relief Worldwide. (Accessed 10 May 2018)
Phillimore, J., Humphris, R. and Khan, K. (2017) Reciprocity for new migrant integration: resource conservation, investment and exchange. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 44:2, 215-232,
Bronitt, S. and McSherry, B. (2017) Principles of Criminal Law. Sydney: Thomson Reuters (1,041 pages)
Goodson, L. and Grzymala-Kazlowska, A. (2017) Researching migration in a superdiverse society: challenges, methods, concerns and promises. Sociological Research Online. 22(1), February 2017.
Bradby, H., Liabo, K., Ingold, A. and Roberts, H. (2017) ‘Visibility, resilience, vulnerability in young migrants’. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine online first pp1-18
Bradby, H. (2017) 'Taking story seriously’, Social Theory and Health, 15(2): 206-222. DOI:10.1057/s41285-017-0028-3
Dunne Breen, M., Easteal, P., Holland, K., Sutherland, G., and Vaughan, C. (2017). Exploring Australian journalism discursive practices in reporting rape: the pitiful predator and the silent victim. Discourse and Communication, 11(3): 241-258
Ozcurumez,S. and Yıldırım, D. (2017) "Syrians under Temporary Protection, health services and NGOs in Turkey: the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants and the Turkish Medical Association" In Scott L. Greer, Matthias Wismar, Gabriele Pastorino, and Monika Kosinska (eds), Civil Society and Health: Contributions and Potential, Copenhagen (Denmark): European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
Almugahed, N., Pertek, S. I., Fida, N. (2017) An integrated approach to gender-based violence and child protection: Key findings from Mali, Niger and Pakistan, Islamic Relief, Birmingham. Available at: http://www.islamic-relief.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/An-Integrated-Approach-to-GBV-and-CP_WEB.pdf (Accessed 13 June 2018)
Nasr, H. (2017) Gender Justice and the Politics of Sexual Harassment in Cairo In Women, Urbanization and Sustainability Palgrave Macmillan, London. pp. 221-245.
Humphris, R., and Bradby, H. (2017) Health Status of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health (eds) McQueen, D.V. and Ashton, D.
Retrieved 17 Oct. 2017, from http://publichealth.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190632366.001.0001/acrefore-9780190632366-e-8
Bradby, H. (2016) ‘Medical migration and the global politics of equality’ in The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities (eds) Whitehead, A., Woods, A., Atkinson, S., Macnaughton, J. and Richards, J. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp 491-507
Cheung, S. & Phillimore, J. (2016) Gender and refugee integration: a quantitative analysis of integration and social policy outcomes, Journal of Social Policy, 46(2) 211-230
Block, K. (2016) Marginalised Populations. In H. Keleher & C. MacDougal (Eds.), Understanding Health (Fourth ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Vaughan C., Devine A., Ignacio R., Lacsamana W., Marco MJ. Zayas J., Sobritchea C. 2016. Building capacity for a disability-inclusive response to violence against women and girls: experience from the W-DARE project in the Philippines. Gender and Development, 24(2): 245-260
Ozcurumez, S. and Yetkin Aker, D. (2016) “What moves the highly skilled and Why? Comparing Turkish Nationals in Canada and Germany” International Migration, 54(3),61-72.
Akyüz, Selin, (2016) “‘Overcome Your Anger If You Are a Man’: Silencing Women’s Agency to Voice Violence Against Women” Women’s Studies International Forum, 56. (with Feyda Sayan-Cengiz)
Pertek, S.I. (2016) Gender Study: Conditional Cash Project for Vulnerable Syrian and Jordanian Children in Irbid, Jordan. Islamic Relief Worldwide. Birmingham. Available at http://www.islamic-relief.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Irbid-Case-Study.pdf
(Accessed 13 June 2018)
Phillimore, J. (2015) 'Migrant maternity in an era of superdiversity: new migrants' access to, and experience of, antenatal care in the West Midlands, UK,' Social Science & Medicine
Available online 25 November 2015, ISSN 0277-9536
Vaughan, C., Murdolo, A., Murray, L., Davis, E., Chen, J., Block, K., Quiazon, R., & Warr, D. (2015). ASPIRE: A multi-site community-based participatory research project to increase understanding of the dynamics of violence against immigrant and refugee women in Australia. BMC Public Health, 15
Pertek, S.I. (2015) Gender Justice Policy, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Birmingham. Available at: http://www.islamic-relief.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Gender-policy.pdf
(Accessed 13 June 2018)
Darkal, H., (2014). Heather E Bullock, Women and poverty: Psychology, public policy, and social justice. Feminism & Psychology p.0959353514549298.
Ozcurumez, S. and Yetkin, D. “Limits to Regulating Irregular Migration in Turkey: What constrains public policy and why?”, Turkish Studies 15(3), 442-457, (2014).
Akyüz, Selin, (2014), “Gendered Insecurities: Refugee Camps in Southeastern Turkey”, Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security, Vol. 4 no.1-2,(with Bezen Balamir-Coşkun)
Block, K.,Riggs, E., & Haslam, N. (Eds.). (2013). Values and vulnerabilities: The Ethics of research with refugees and asylum seekers Brisbane: Australian Academic Press
Goodson, L. and Phillimore, J. (2012) Community research for community participation: from theory to method. Bristol: Policy Press.
Ozcurumez, S. and Wylie, L. (2012) Strategies for Change among Institutional and Societal Actors, in Migrants and Health: Political and Institutional Responses to Cultural Diversity in Health Systems (Edited by Falge, C., Ruzza, C. and Schmidtke, O.), pp. 139-176, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Ozcurumez, S. and Senses, N. Europeanisation and Turkey: Studying Irregular Migration Policy, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 13(2), 233-248, (2011).
McSherry, B. and Kneebone, S. (2008) Trafficking in Women and Forced Migration: Moving Victims Across the Border of Crime into the Domain of Human Rights. The International Journal of Human Rights 12(1): 67‑87.
Bernadette McSherry, (2007) Trafficking in Persons: A Critical Analysis of the New Criminal Code Offences. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 18(3): 385‑398.
The SEREDA Project Working Papers
Pertek, S. et al (2020), Forced migration, SGBV and COVID-19: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Forced Migrant Survivors of SGBV, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity.
Thomas, S., Darkal, H. and Goodson, L. (2020) Forced migration and SGBV: Service provider perspectives from the UK, IRiS Working Paper Series, NO. 34/2020, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Ozcurumez, S. and , Akyuz, S. (2020) Risks and Prospects in SGBV Prevention, Intervention and Protection: The Service Prodivers' Perspective in Turkey, IRiS Working Paper Series, No 33/2020, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Buscher, D. (2019) Understanding Sexual and Gender-Based Violence among Refugees in Transit and Resettlement Contexts, IRiS Working Paper Series, No 32/2019, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Phillimore, J., Pertek, S. and Alidu, L. (2018) Sexual and gender-based violence and refugees. The impacts of and on integration domains, IRiS Working Paper Series, No. 31/2019, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Block, K., Nasr, H., Vaughan, C. and Alsaraf, S. (2018) What responses, approaches to treatment, and other supports are effective in assisting refugees who have experienced sexual and gender-based violence?, IRiS Working Paper Series, No. 30/2019, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Thomas, S., Darkal, H. and Goodson, B. (2018) Monitoring and reporting incidents of sexual and gender-based violence across the refugee journey, IRiS Working Paper Series, No. 29/2019, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Simon-Butler, A. and McSherry, B. (2018) Defining Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Refugee Context, IRiS Working Paper Series, No. 28/2018, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Ozcurumez, S., Bradby, H. and Akyuz, S. (2018) What is the nature of SGBV?, IRiS Working Paper Series, No. 27/2019, Birmingham: Institute for Research into Superdiversity
The SEREDA Project data collection has been completed in the UK and Turkey, and is underway in Sweden and Australia. The Melbourne team has almost completed the target number of interviews with service providers, and partially completed interviews with Syrian and Iraqi refugees who have experienced gender-based violence – further interviews will be done when it is safe to do so following lifting of COVID-19 related physical distancing measures.
The SEREDA design and early findings were presented to international audiences at the European Conference on Domestic Violence in Oslo in September 209 and Sexual Violence Research Initiative Conference in Cape Town in October 2019, generating considerable interest and positive feedback.
Recent Blog Posts
Tenacious hope: Forced migrant SGBV survivors
By Hannah Bradby
Stay at Home, Save Lives
By Hoayda Darkal
Why has Maryam left Sweden after four years and 3 months?
By Hannah Bradby
Serendipity and the Field
By Jenny Phillimore
Self Care: A Part of Ethical Research Practice
By Jeanine Hourani