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Middle Eastern Female

Fear and family honour

Participant 1: Um I just wanted to add that I know a lot of people - it's really sad - that have been raped in our culture and, um, usually what the parents do instead of getting them justice or reporting it so that you get your rights, a lot of them are like, "Don’t say anything about it; don’t tell anyone about it. We’ll get you to a therapist; but just don’t talk about it in general. We won’t report it," because of, I guess, the reputation of the family.
Facilitator: Right, thank you for that, that is absolutely true - a lot of families um in our culture, uh, is it fair to describe what we’re talking about as maybe family honor?
Participant 1: Yes. yep. I just wanted to add that a lot of people from back home, I would hear stories - a lot of people actually get killed, like, honor killings, because they’ve been raped and the victim is always blamed for that. The woman especially is being blamed for that, no matter what happens. So, yeah, there’s a lot of fear coming with that for the victim to report it from our culture.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ensure all sexual violence prevention and response education and training opportunities actively deconstruct victim-blaming, rape myths and gender norms. Ensure these sessions take an intersectional approach to understanding sexual violence and supporting victim/survivors.

  • 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.