A report reveals that one out of every three children in Pakistan is a victim of some kind of sexual abuse.

Further investigation shows that most of these children are abused by someone they know and trust, like a relative, family friend or a caretaker.

For some victims within the community there is still a fear of who to turn to and who to trust.

Soniya (not her real name) says she was abused on visits to her native country.

“We, like many families would go to Pakistan every year for the summer holidays. Mum and us kids would go first, and dad would join us for the last two weeks.

“We used to stay with my dada and dadi. Their home was the centre of all activity. Everyone would gather there when we came to stay. Cousins, second cousins, everyone was a relation of some form.

“My abuser was my phupo’s husband. He, like everyone else would visit us every evening.

“This man would try and get me alone at every opportunity. At first he would ask me inappropriate questions, like ‘Do you have a boyfriend in Manchester? You must have a boyfriend at school. How can a pretty girl like you not have a boyfriend?’ “I was only 12-years-old. The concept of having a boyfriend was not ever even considered. My parents are very conservative Pakistani parents. They wouldn’t even let me where a skirt to school. I had to wear trousers.

“How could I tell my mum that my phupo’s husband was asking me things like when did I get my first bra and had my period started?"

She says that being left alone with cousins allowed her abuser ample opportunity.

“There are enough social politics and tension between in-laws anyway. I never thought that my mum wouldn’t believe me. But I thought she would be helpless to do anything about it. And that alone would damage her emotionally. “And my dad always sided with his family. He never defended my mum no matter how they treated her. I think my phupa took advantage of the situation.

“In Pakistan my parents would leave us with our older cousins for hours on end.

"They would go out shopping or for meals, and we would be home playing. This is when my phupa would make excuses to stay home. He would say he would stay and mind the kids, or that he had to finish a report and would join them later.

“That’s when it would happen. Every year for 6 weeks of my life until I was 15. And it only stopped because my phupo and her husband moved to Abu Dhabi for his job."

She says being abused by a close family member left her feeling completely helpless.

“I feel ashamed that I could never say ‘No’ or tell him to stop. I felt too weak to say or do anything. He never raped me. There was never any penetration. But he would touch me and kiss me everywhere that was wrong.”

After the Underwear Rule campaign was launched by the NSPCC, new NSPCC data shows that there has been a 16% rise in reports to police involving the sexual abuse of children under 11 in the UK.

Yet how is a problem supposed to be tackled when the victim themselves won’t come forward and speak because they think they will bring shame upon the family? And in particular, when the abuser lives abroad?

“For those years when I was abused, I became socially introvert at school.

"I couldn’t talk to anyone. I felt dirty and guilty. And that I had let myself down by allowing him to get away with it.

“I saw my phupa once when I was 20 and we went to Pakistan for a wedding. He didn’t touch me then, I guess he was afraid to come near me as I was grown up.

"But he behaved as if nothing had ever happened. When he spoke to me in front of my parents, it was as if I was a stranger.

“Part of me was relieved, but the other part was disgusted that only a few years earlier he would brazenly touch me in the dark corners of the house when family were sitting downstairs watching the latest drama under the pretext of going to the bathroom, and now he was acting like it was nothing. No remorse. No acknowledgment.

“This systematic abuse has affected my marriage. I was a virgin when I got married, but I froze when it came to sexual relations with my husband.

"Obviously he couldn’t understand what the problem was, and just thought I was being frigid. It caused so many problems, and we almost divorced within the first year.

“Despite our problems, my husband and I still loved each other. I had to tell him the truth.

“Despite seeing a therapist to try and help us through this, we still haven’t consummated our marriage. It has been two years now. My husband is desperate to have children. We have spoken about insemination at home with a syringe and adoption. “My parents and siblings still don’t know what happened to me. I think I am too ashamed to ever tell them.

“Whilst my husband is incredibly understanding and would never force me, I am always afraid that he will look elsewhere for sex. Of course, I can’t blame him if he does.

“I don’t know how to resolve this. I have tried to get closure on this. But this abuse has become a part of me. And now I feel it has ruined my husband’s life too.”