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African Female

Is it better to offer solutions?

Participant 1: I would look for someone who provides me with more recommendations of how I could approach the problem. Like, it's good to listen to my problem, but I think for me, it would be better if you gave me a way to solve my issue.
Facilitator: Advice, and where to go: "Maybe you can go to this counselling session. You can see this person, and they could help you."
Participant 1: Yeah, because at the end of the day, that would help me [...]. Participant 2: Yeah - yeah. I mean, that's true.
Participant 1: You can communicate about something, but with no action, it would be useless. [...] But if you talk to someone and you guys go through the issue and find maybe a recommendation, then that's better, because it's killing two birds with one stone.
Participant 2: I feel like I'm more of a "I talk and then you listen, and that's it." Like, you can throw in some commentaries in-between to show that you are listening to me, but I feel like some people are just so proud. I would feel like at the end of it, I still have my pride right? [...]
Facilitator: Okay, so you wouldn't ask her [the supporter] what to do, you would rather just talk and expect the person to just -
Participant 2: Listen, and maybe sometimes encouragement, but not telling me what to do because, okay, yes, I am a victim, but I am not stupid either. I know what to do [...]. It's not like I lost my senses just because I have been assaulted. I just need somebody to like tell me that it's going to be okay, just a little sweet talking words.
Facilitator: Okay, someone just there to comfort.
Participant 2: Yeah, to comfort - maybe not to guide me or something, but like, someone to comfort me.
Facilitator: Although, Participant One's point is also very good, because some people in those instances could actually be a bit disoriented.
Participant 2: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Facilitator: You know? Like, I don't know what to do, right? You just go blank and don't know what to do. You just freeze, like you're really scared, maybe of the one who attacked you or something.


  • 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.