Research Guidelines

Guidelines for Researchers, Journalists, and Authors

If you are a student or professional conducting research on sexual assault:

We recognize that there would not be the knowledge about sexual assault, its impact on survivors, and healing if survivors had not permitted themselves to be studied. We therefore welcome researchers at Pandora’s Project. Our survivor community, Pandora’s Aquarium, has a forum and special class of membership for research requests, and we have helped many students, professionals and organizations connect with survivors willing to participate in research. However, in the interest of our members’ well-being, research requests need to be managed sensitively. Please do not join the community to post your request without contacting us with the following information:

  • What area of sexual assault you are researching
  • Your qualifications or field of study
  • The types of questions that will be asked (please forward us any links or questionnaires)
  • Whether members will remain anonymous
  • Whether you have the backing of a college or organization (we appreciate a scan of your IRB approval letter)
  • Whether you wish to join the community solely as a researcher or both survivor and researcher (the reason for this is that we have survivor-only forums that researcher members cannot access)

When you have garnered sufficient respondents, please let us know so that we can remove the request.

For established members wishing to post research requests:

Please contact us to get permission. If it is your research, please give us the information listed above. If it is from another organization or person, let us know whom and provide any links.

For authors researching sexual assault:

Authors speak to our members from time to time to gain insight for fiction or non-fiction works. Please contact us with your request for us to consider and post. Tell us about your book and what you need from survivors. We’ll need to know what sort of questions you will ask, and whether survivors can remain anonymous. Please also provide contact details so that members wishing to respond can contact you with questions they may have.

For journalists wishing to interview survivors of sexual assault:

Several of the moderators and members of Pandora’s Aquarium have experience in speaking to the media. Rape and sexual abuse survivors often appreciate the opportunity to speak out, and we believe that doing so is beneficial to other survivors. However, in the interest of our members’ safety, such requests must be handled cautiously. Therefore, please do not join the board to solicit survivors to speak to. What you can do is contact us. The following information will need to be included:

  • What program or publication you work for (please provide any links)
  • Is there a specific type of survivor you are wishing to speak to i.e. male survivors; those who became pregnant by rape, child sexual abuse survivors?
  • What the slant will be
  • Whether you want survivors to use their real names/photographs, or whether they can be anonymous

We will consider and post your request for you if all is in order.