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Middle Eastern Male

Be really, really cautious when it comes to making any suggestions

Participant 1: It is really easy to give advice. You can just say, "Go to the police. Go to the administrators, or faculty." But it’s not as easy as one might think; and there is a lot that goes through it. There is a trauma process, and it takes a lot from a person. So, what I would do, would be to make sure [to] empathize. We can’t really step into their shoes; but we can be really, really cautious when making any suggestions; and we can ensure that every situation complies with them being comfortable. [...]
Participant 2: I would agree with the previous participant. [...] We have to be very empathetic and at the same time aware and careful with what is suggested. Because the person was not only physically abused, but they are emotionally violated. They are going through a very horrific situation mentally, and it's traumatizing for them. So, you can do the best you can to be a support for them: talking, being patient, giving them all the time in the world, not forcing them into a situation, not telling them what they "have to do." There is no such thing as "You have to," after going through such a horrific thing. It's all about, "Do you want this?" or, "Do you want that?" Or just remaining quiet, and [...] being there for them, and asking what they need from you at the moment.


  • Use open-ended questions and collaborative communication when supporting a victim/survivor.

  • Use approaches that are trauma informed and survivor-centred.

  • Provide long-term support to victims/survivors through university services and/or through referals to external community-based agencies.

  • Emphasize the victim's right to decide whether they would like to report the incident after they have disclosed it to the university. Ensure the victim is aware of the formal and informal routes for reporting, including the option of reporting to the police. Clearly communicate any limits to confidentiality.

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