Sara Alsaraf

sarabham-230Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the Refugee Crisis: Vulnerabilities, Inequalities and Responses

Supervisors: Jenny Phillimore and  Dr Christalla Yakinthou

This interdisciplinary research explores the health of migrants who have experienced sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) on the refugee journey. I will be meeting with people who have suffered such violence to think about how to better prevent and protect migrants from SGBV. The research also focuses on physical and mental health interventions available once an individual is resettled, as following such traumatic experiences, migrants often remain vulnerable. 


  • MA Dramatherapy, University of Roehampton
  • MB BS  Medicine, Imperial College, London
  • BSc (Intercal), Medical Anthropology     University College, London

Research Interests

  • Health Equity
  • SGBV
  • Intersectionality
  • Mental Health
  • Migrant and Refugee Peoples’ Health


Sara is a psychiatrist and creative arts therapist. She has worked in the NHS since qualifying as a doctor. As a psychotherapist, she facilitates creative therapeutic groups for people who have suffered trauma or marginalisation. Whilst working with people who had been trafficked, she developed an interest in migrants' experience of healthcare during the refugee journey and resettlement. She is interested in how the many layers of gender based violence, from personal to structural, affect the person and in holistic, survivor-centered responses. 

Professional memberships

  • GMC
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists

Conference papers

The Self In Limbo: Moving But Not Progressing: Dramatherapy With Migrant Communities. British Association Of Dramatherapy Conference, 2018

What responses, approaches to treatment and other supports are effective in assisting refugees who have experienced SGBV – a Literature Review. Dr Cathy Vaughan, Dr Karen Block, Hala Nasr and Sara Alsaraf IASFM, 2018

Contact details


Twitter: @drsaraalsaraf