For crisis intervention or mental distress: Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line:
1-888-429-8167

For Confidential support to post-secondary students in Nova Scotia:
Good2Talk: 1-833-292-3698
or text GOOD2TALKNS to 686868

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program for the Halifax area:
902-425-0122

Get toll-free numbers for other Nova Scotia regions

 

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All we care about is how our friend feels

There's a story that my friend told me, when we were still back in Vietnam. He told me about how he got involved in sexual assault when he was in the bathroom with other men. At that time we were still kids from high school, so I don't think we really [had a] sense [of] how we could [...] report the action, or we should report the action. And otherwise, I think, first of all, I'm not in the position to judge whether he should or shouldn't report action, because it depends on him. I think the first thing is to comfort your friend. And then, before we make a suggestion, we should ask questions like, do they really want to report? [...] Because I - at that moment, all we care about is how our friend feels.

Recommendations

  • Use open-ended questions and collaborative communication when supporting a victim/survivor.

  • 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 education and awareness campaigns, highlight the fact that a significant percentage of men have experienced sexual violence in their lives.