Page 1: Participant Information Sheet

You are being invited to take part in research on recovering after a difficult abusive relationship.  Chhaya Shah, a Postgraduate Student at Coventry University and qualified counsellor is leading this research.  Before you decide to take part, it is important you understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve.  Please take time to read the following information carefully.

Why is this research important?

This study is exploring how South Asian women recover mentally when they have been abused by their husbands or partners.  This includes, physical or sexual violence, emotional abuse, and controlling behaviour, like hitting, slapping, shouting, screaming.  It is important to understand the recovery process as it could help to inform the design of support programmes for other women

Who can take part in the research?

You are invited to participate in this study because you are a South Asian Woman from India or Pakistan.  You are a permanent resident in the UK.  You are over 18 years of age.  You can speak or read basic English.  Your mother tongue can be English, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi or Urdu.  You must have left a physically violent or emotionally abusive relationship more than 2 years ago.  You must not have serious mental health problems, be experiencing nightmares, have active thoughts of dying or harming someone else.  You have not, currently or in the past, experienced technology-related abuse.

How will taking part in this research be helpful?

By sharing information about your life with us, you will be helping Chhaya Shah and Coventry University to better understand how South Asian women continue with their life after leaving their violent or abusive husband or partner.  This may improve the support provided to help other women.

Will everything you discuss be kept confidential?

This study has been checked and approved through Coventry University’s formal research ethics procedure.  Although the information you provide is confidential, because of the subject matter, there may be some risks to your mental health when taking part as you may remember difficult experiences.  If talking about your life with your husband or partner becomes too upsetting, you can stop the interview at any time.  All information you provide will be kept anonymous in all research outputs. However, there are a few circumstances in which I may have to disclose aspects of the interview: if you are harming yourself or considering suicide, I may have to tell your doctor or another professional, who may be able to help you.  If you are harming another person or you tell me about any criminal offences, then I may need to speak to social services or the police, but I will discuss this with you first.  

Do I have to take part?

No – it is entirely up to you.  If you do decide to take part, please complete the Consent Form on the next page to show that you understand your rights in relation to the research, and that you are happy to take part.  Please write down your receipt number (which you will find on the last page and can use as your participant ID) and provide this to the lead researcher if you want to withdraw from the study at a later date.  You are free to withdraw your information from the project data set at any time until the data are destroyed within one month of your interview.  You should note that your data may be used in the production of formal research outputs (e.g. journal articles, conference papers, theses and reports) prior to this date and so you are advised to contact the university at the earliest opportunity should you wish to withdraw from the study.  To withdraw, please contact the lead researcher (contact details are provided below).  Please also contact the Psychology Office by email on or telephone +44 (0) 2477 658957 so that your request can be dealt with promptly in the event of the lead researcher’s absence.  You do not need to give a reason.  A decision to withdraw, or not to take part, will not affect you in any way.

What will happen if I agree to take part?

Firstly, as part of the research, you will be required to fill in two online surveys.  These provide information about your ability to control your emotions and includes a risk assessment about discussing your recovery from domestic abuse.  It should take around 15 minutes to complete both surveys.  Following the surveys, a small number of participants will be contacted to complete an interview about how they have recovered from domestic violence.  Only a few women will be selected for interview as long as there are no concerns about their mental health for the interview, at the first stage, when the surveys are completed.  The interview will be on the phone or via Skype and last around 1 hour.  You will be asked a number of questions regarding your relationship to talk about the abuse and what has helped you to move forward after leaving the relationship.  Completing the interview will take place at a time that is convenient to you.  Ideally, we would like to audio record the interview (and will require your consent for this), so the location should be in a fairly quiet area.  Everyone that takes part in the study will be provided with information about organisations that offer further support if you want to talk about your life in more detail.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

Your data will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.  All information collected about you will be kept strictly confidential.  Unless they are fully anonymised in our records, your data will be referred to by a unique participant number rather than by name.  If you consent to being audio recorded, all recordings will be destroyed once they have been transcribed.  Your data will only be viewed by the researcher / research team.  All electronic data will be stored on a password-protected computer file on the university computer system.  All paper records will be uploaded onto a password-protective file on the university computer system, then destroyed.  Your consent information will be kept separately from your answers in order to minimise risk in the event of a data breach.  The lead researcher will take responsibility for data destruction and all collected data will be destroyed on or before 30/09/2021.

Data Protection Rights

Coventry University is a Data Controller for the information you provide.  You have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.  You also have other rights including rights of correction, erasure, objection, and data portability.  For more details, including the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, please visit  Questions, comments and requests about your personal data can also be sent to the University Data Protection Officer -

What will happen with the results of this study?

The results of this study may be summarised in published articles, reports and presentations.   Quotes or key findings will always be made anonymous in any formal outputs.

Making a Complaint

If you are unhappy with any aspect of this research, please first contact the lead researcher, Chhaya Shah by email on  If you still have concerns and wish to make a formal complaint, please write to Dr Edward Ong:

Dr Edward Ong

Assistant Lecturer in Psychology

Coventry University

Coventry CV1 5FB


In your letter please provide information about the research project, specify the name of the researcher and detail the nature of your complaint.

Finally, if you have questions or concerns, please contact Chhaya Shah at