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African Female

Data handling

Participant 1: I don’t know how to word this, but I guess, um, since we’re dealing with sensitive data, how confidential is the data once a person of colour has given information? Are they taking that information and comparing it with people of different races? And if so, how so? Once a person of colour has to disclose the information, are they taking that data [...] and then making it more beneficial for people that are of African descent, or people of colour?
Facilitator: Good question, yes. Excellent question. [...] I mean, that question is definitely relevant for us, you know, being that we are all of African Nova Scotia descent. Not only are they taking that data, [but] are they just kind of checking it, or are they actually using that data to create a more holistic environment, [so victims can] engage without feeling that we’re the victim and we’re being in a position that we’re being accused at the same time.


  • 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.

  • In the policy itself and in materials and presentations promoting the policy, define "confidential" and "anonymous," and explain how these concepts pertain to the policy, university-based sexual assault services, and the limits on confidentiality and anonymity.

  • Engage with student leaders from diverse cultural backgrounds and genders when revising policy content and associated services. Ensure the concerns raised by these students are foregrounded in policy development and application.