SMART is an independent
For over five decades, young Sikh females have tragically fallen victim of targeted sexual abuse and
exploitation in cities across the United Kingdom. Despite the Sikh community repeatedly raising
concerns to the authorities, they remain unaddressed and unacknowledged.
Compounding the predicament of young Sikh victims and their families has been the historic policing and local authority approaches to cases of abuse and exploitation which either failed to understand the problem, disregarded them or largely ignored the risk to youngsters over concerns of communal tensions or political correctness.
Such circumstances alongside the taboo nature of the subject and the cultural factors exploited by perpetrators to silence their victims, have led to a continued aversion by Sikh victims and families to involve external authorities such as the police and social services with cases of abuse.
With the rising levels of risk, generic approaches towards child sexual abuse and exploitation require urgent reassessment in order to acknowledge the acute risk to particular sections of society.
For this reason, it is clear that tailored community intervention for members of the Sikh community is required in order to address the unique backgrounds of Sikh females as well as facilitating their effective rehabilitation.
To provide multi-layered approaches incorporating professionals acting as a medium to report abuse, conduct mediation and address cultural sensitivities, in February 2019 the first SMART Centre was opened in Sandwell region of the West Midlands.
Who are we?
SMART is an independent community initiative providing bespoke mediation services to primary and secondary victims of sexual abuse, exploitation and coercive relationships. The risk of targeted sexual abuse has become significantly heightened over the last decade, with the complexities increased since the advent of social media and wider utilisation of the internet.
Given the rapid and ever evolving techniques utilised by perpetrators, the Police and social services are constantly playing catch up in their efforts to tackle the modern face of sexual abuse. For this reason, S.M.A.R.T has been developed to fill the void which currently failing victims. The key focus of SMART is to act as a medium to provide the tailored and multi-layered community intervention required in order to address the current failures inhibiting the police and social services to effectively cater for victims.