After completing the focus groups, researchers created reports to describe the findings for specific cultural groups.
African Nova Scotian Male Focus Groups: Racial profiling as a foundation of distrust and directions for building trust in university sexual assault policies
- Analysis of the African Nova Scotian (ANS) male-identified focus groups held at Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie Universities reflected low confidence among participants in their sexual assault policies and associated services.
- Concerns of participants were strongly shaped by awareness of the problem of racial profiling in our province.
- Participants saw themselves as disproportionately likely to be named as respondents, but very unlikely to turn to university-based sexual assault policies or services for support. This is an important problem to address.
- Despite the social invisibility of sexual violence against men and boys, many men and boys experience sexual violence in contexts of hazing, intimate partner violence, or hate crime, and during war, incarceration, or childhood. It is therefore essential for male-identified students across cultural groups to feel comfortable disclosing to service providers made available through their university sexual assault services.
Read the African Nova Scotian Male Focus Groups Report (PDF)
Caribbean Female Focus Groups: Intersectional approaches as essential for faith in university sexual assault policies
Caribbean women who participated in the CAPSAP study drew attention to:
- The limited visibility of their sexual assault policies among students. They suggested in-person approaches to education and awareness that would reach students across campus.
- Intense privacy concerns which they suggested students from the Caribbean would likely experience when considering whether to disclose or report a sexual assault
- Distrust in university systems and greater trust in family members for support in times of crisis
- The importance of preventative measures that take sexual violence seriously
Read the Caribbean Female Focus Groups Report (PDF)
Chinese Student Focus Groups: Perspectives of sexual assault policies from SMU, MSVU and CBU
- Policy invisibility and ways of promoting visibility
- Most Chinese students are not aware of the school‘s sexual assault policies and related services.
- Universities should offer various approaches to constantly inform international students of the school’s policy.
- Policy flaws and concerns
- Lack of assault prevention initiatives
- Worries of encountering racism when reporting an assault
- Desire for more serious penalties for perpetrators and further protection for victims
- Educating students
- Provide sex education workshops
- Define and clarify culturally and socially acceptable and appropriate behaviors around sexual activity in the Canadian context
- Support for victims of a Chinese cultural background
- Ensure victims’ privacy is and remains the top priority
- Offer language support if needed
Read the Chinese Student Focus Groups Report (PDF)
West African Female Focus Groups: How the experiences of West African Women Shape their Opinions and Perceptions of the Sexual Assault Policies at CBU & SMU
- "According to Statistics Canada, 71 percent of students at Canadian post-secondary schools witnessed or experienced unwanted sexualized behaviors in 2019, and about one in 10 women experienced a sexual assault in a post-secondary [institutions] during the previous year" (Cooke, 2021). Given such figures, it is crucial that university sexual assault policies be accessible to and useful for students across the cultural groups that populate our campus communities.
- The CAPSAP research program explores how university students from various cultural groups view their sexual assault policies. This is a brief analysis of the thoughts and experiences of participants who identified as West African female (WAF) students in focus groups about their university sexual assault policies, held at Cape Breton University (CBU) and Saint Mary's University (SMU).