The SEREDA Project

Sexual and gender-based violence against refugees: experiences from displacement to arrival

Project Overview

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 undertaken 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.

Listen to Dr Karen Block discussing the SEREDA Project on 3CR Radio.


For any enquiries regarding the SEREDA Project please contact:

Ann Bolstridge, 
Institute for Research Into Superdiversity, 
School of Social Policy, 
University of Birmingham

Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4967
Twitter: @sereda_IRiS

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 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]

PhD Candidates

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]


Report Cover - Nobody Helped Me

“Nobody helped me”– Forced migration and sexual and gender-based violence: findings from the SEREDA project, launched 13 April 2022.

Forced migration and sexual and gender-based violence: findings from the SEREDA project in the UK, launched 29 November 2021.

Books, Chapters and Articles

Papoutsi, A., Phillimore, J., Akyüz,S., Bradby, H., Goodson, L., and Vaughan, C. Geographies of Shame: Diachronic and Transnational Shame in Forced Migrants with Experiences of Sexual and Gender-Based ViolenceJournal of Refugee Studies, 2022.

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-2019Violence 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.
DOI: 10.1080/19436149.2018.1549215

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: (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, 
DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1341709

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.
DOI: 10.5153/sro.4168

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
DOI: 10.1177/1363459317739441

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: (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

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 GermanyInternational 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
(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:
(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