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African Female

A lot of behaviours are normalized in our culture

The relationship dynamics within the Caribbean, like, every relationship, is different but a lot of behaviours are normalized in our culture that would be seen as, I don’t wanna say abuse, like, basically, a lot of sexual violence comes from relationships. I mean, a lot of times they are people that you interact with. It's just, like, just cultural dynamics, friend dynamics, and those kinds of things from not only our culture, but all the different cultures present in the university environment. It is good for them [counsellors] to have at least some background, because I was at the counselling center, and sometimes they can be a bit insensitive in the way that they handle certain situations, particularly because they don’t have a cultural understanding.


  • Sign on with a service such as KeepMe.Safe, which connects students with mental health professionals from cultures around the world and promote this service as part of university SV/SA service provision.

  • 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.

  • Engage in activities to develop cultural responsiveness as it pertains to sexual violence prevention and response. Apply culturally responsive practices in these areas.

  • Consider how a student's identities might affect their expectations and concerns when accessing supports following a sexual assault, or when involved in a sexual assault investigation.

  • Allow victim/survivors to share their experiences and seek support when they are ready. Offer information about time limits for reporting when applicable.

  • When responding to a disclosure or report of sexual violence, highlight that students have the choice to involve support people of their choice, including friends or family members. Offer to reach out to support people if the student prefers. This applies to the victim/survivor or complainant and respondent.