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  • Victoria Jackson

Clearing up Misconceptions on Sexual Violence

Caper Times interviewed Judy Kelley, Director of the Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Center, and Scott Thomas, Human Rights and Diversity Officer, and they were able to shed light on a few common misconceptions about sexual violence.

1. A report will not affect your residency status in the country, and everyone is not going to know

“It’s confidential, it is private, and it's not going to affect your ability to stay in the country.” Kelley says.

The only thing a report may do is affect the residency status of the perpetrator, as they will have committed a crime. Additionally, the belief that confidential information will be distributed, or put on the victim’s student record is incorrect.

2. There will be no judgment from CBU’s support staff when you disclose an act of sexual violence if you were under the influence.

Thomas makes it clear that “In our [CBU’s] policy we speak to the fact we are not here to talk about drugs or alcohol” when you chose to disclose or report an act of sexual violence. If you are under the influence of a drug, legal or illegal, when the crime was committed Thomas states, "We are not here to judge that.”

3. Coming forward will not focus on punishment.

Thomas says, “many students will say I don’t want them to get in trouble.” Depending on the case this outcome will vary. However, Thomas states, “in most cases, it's about education” as “we need to correct the behavior.”

4. After disclosing you will have control over the process.

The idea that once you disclose, there is a set path you then take is inaccurate. There are many different options you have and there is some leeway to change your decision along the way. Thomas states, “we’re not going to dictate the process, we’re going to give you the choices and support, but you choose the outcome.”

Contact information for Supports Systems

Nancy Dingwall Counselling and Health Center Email: Phone number: 902-563-1359

Scott Thomas, Human Rights and Diversity officer Email:

CBU’S Women’s Center Email:

SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) Program

· Annapolis Valley, South Shore, and Tri County areas: 1-833-577-SANE (7263)

· Halifax area: 902-425-0122

· Guysborough, Antigonish, Pictou and Richmond Counties: 1-877-880-SANE (7263)

· Sydney and greater Cape Breton areas: 1-844-858-8036

· Cumberland, Colchester East Hants, and Eastern Shore areas:1-833-757-SANE (7263)

For more information on the SANE program: Nova Scotia Health Authority (

More facts on sexual violence in Canada:

Sexual Assault And Harassment in Canada | The Facts (


Interview with Sarah Currie and Sophia Butler- Doucette. Conducted by Victoria Jackson.

Interview with Judy Kelley, Scott Thomas, [2 student nurse names]. Conducted by Victoria Jackson.

Campus Security - Cape Breton University : Cape Breton University (

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