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African Female

Sometimes they do not believe

Participant 1: Even when we make it known to people, if people come up with stories about how they were assaulted or whatever, sometimes they do not believe them. So what is the point of putting these policies out there, because by putting them out there, we get to read about it, we get to learn about it, but when we go through it as people, because we don’t have physical evidence or something, they do not take your word for it [...].
Facilitator: You do have a point, and again I must say it depends on who you talk to, right? Yes-yes please, go ahead.
Participant 2: I just want to say that I actually agree with what she said, ya know? It's more painful when something happens to someone and you have to make them go through it again. It's very painful. I don’t know if anyone has been through a situation like that, so I think that ya know, there should be a confidentiality policy - a policy where the victim does not have to go through the pain of - the pain of going through it again. The pain of them investigating it, making the person believe that "they don’t believe me, that this happened to me."


  • Promote SANE nurses as supporters for victims/survivors. Ideally, this would happen in the context of a formal partnership with SANE nurses, which includes 24/7 availability of SANE nurse services on campus.

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

  • 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.

  • Highlight which university staff victims/survivors can report sexual violence to so they need only report once.

  • Provide students with information about what can serve as evidence of sexual assault for the purposes of a university investigation. This information should appear in the policy itself and in educational materials about the policy.