RESPONSIVENESS AND CULTURAL SENSITIVITY TO DIVERSITY IN THE CONTEXT OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE CRISIS SUPPORT SERVICES
A focus of this second round of development was to expand the cultural reach of the guidelines through providing resources to increase the capability of services to respond appropriately to the cultural diversity of survivors using the services. While there is much general information available about the cultural competence needed to work with people from diverse cultures, there is little information available about working specifically with survivors of sexual violence.
Over the course of the project, we have come to think of this as inclusive practice, where this refers to responsiveness and cultural sensitivity to diversity. These guidelines provide crucial information and knowledge of appropriate and safe practices (for frontline staff and services) to improve the experiences of victims/survivors from the following communities and cultures:
HOW TO USE THE INCLUSIVE PRACTICE GUIDELINES
Each Inclusive Practice guidelines section, representing a diverse community or cultural group, will be presented using the following format:
- Background Information - What we used to develop the guidelines
- Essential Knowledge - What we need to know
- Essential Practice - What we need to do
- On the frontline
- Crisis support services
- Sector and community development
- Relevant references
- Enhancing cultural competence
- Other related research
We offer a mix of information to support the development of your knowledge. While the guidelines and video interviews might draw your attention first, reading the report which sits behind the guidelines, in the Background Information section, will give you more complete information.
The guidelines are to provide background information, but do not detract from the principle of client centred practice. Any person you are working with will bring their own unique needs – some people are well embedded in a particular culture, while others may live across multiple cultures depending on their circumstances – a Muslim woman with a disability, a gay male whose family is Māori and Asian. You still need to listen to the person in front of you, but increased knowledge of culture/s might help you to better understand what they say. Cultural competence does not suggest treating all members of a cultural group in the same way. Rather, it presumes that difference and diversity between and within groups are valued, and acknowledges a positive integration of diversity, difference and multiculturalism within a system of care.
Selecting the community groups: This process was driven primarily by the desire to provide better support to groups who were already presenting for service, or who were conspicuous by their relative absence from services. This was with the exception of Māori who were prioritized as tāngata whenua. Asian communities were not identified in the initial groups, however other funding was sought to enable the research to be extended to this community.
- Advisory Group: The initial phase of this research project involved community engagement and relationship building. A research Advisory Group was established through consulting with existing service relationships and reaching out to communities to develop new ones, as well as ensuring a diverse group of sexual violence specialists were engaged in the project. The group held face-to-face and teleconference meetings over the duration of the project, with regular updates also provided via email.
- Community researchers: The Advisory Group representative from each community group identified potential community researchers, drawing on their connections to the community and research experience. Potential community researchers were then approached to conduct the research, and were selected based on their availability to complete the project within the specified time-frame. For several communities, the advisory group member became part of the research team.
- Consultation: The Guidelines were derived from these reports and other relevant research, with consultation between the Advisory Group, community researcher and research team during the development process.
- Future research: The research process was designed to also directly benefit the communities involved, with communities being free to use the research for their own purposes.