Allowing for student choice between support people.
When responding to a disclosure or report of sexual violence involving racially or ethnically marginalized students, provide these students with the choice to work with someone who shares their cultural or racial identity or someone who does not.
Some students who belong to racially or ethnically marginalized groups feel they would be far better understood and supported by a service provider who shares their cultural or racial identification. Others feel they would be more judged, or worry that a service provider who shares their cultural or racial identity might break confidentiality and talk about their situation with other members of their communities. Still other students belonging to ethnically or racially marginalized groups tell us the cultural or racial identity of the support person is not important; the person’s characteristics and qualifications are what matter. Signing on to a service such as KeepME.Safe would make it possible to allow students choice in terms of the cultural identities of the support people they connect with through their universities. (See also the recomendation “Providing access to culturally diverse service providers”).