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Middle Eastern Female

Cultural sensitivity and representation

Participant 2: I think cultural sensitivity training is important for anyone working in the service industry in Canada. Especially the last couple of years, many immigrants and refugees have arrived here [...]. I've worked at a front desk, and I've taken a lot of phone calls because both my parents are immigrants and I have more patience to help them. But I've seen other staff who didn't understand what the person said and they didn't try to slow down their speech.
[...] So, I think teaching people about different cultures - especially Middle Eastern culture, because there are more taboos.

Participant 1: When I went to a counsellor in McCain, I was so frustrated. I was like, "Oh, this person doesn't understand" because of cultural differentials.

Facilitator: Some people should be from different countries

Participant 2: Yes, representative.


  • 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 anti-racism as it pertains to sexual violence prevention and response. Apply anti-racist practices in these areas.

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

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

  • 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.

  • Offer interpretation services to victims/survivors and respondents who are more comfortable communicating in a language other than English and make it known to students that this service is available.

  • 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.