Would you like to participate in our research project TRUST?

Would you like to participate in our research project TRUST?

Are you above the age of 16 and have been subjected to a sexual assault in the past year?

This is an invitation for you to participate in a research project. Here, you will receive information about the study and what participation will imply for you.

What is the purpose of this project and why are you being invited?

The purpose of this study is to understand how we can better help and support those who have been subjected to sexual assault. We invite all individuals who have experienced a sexual assault in the past year, are over 16 years old, and speak Norwegian or English. Some will be asked to participate in the study when they are in contact with a sexual assault care center, while others will receive information about the study through social media or our website.

There is a lack of knowledge regarding how those exposed are supported in the time following the incident, both by societal institutions and their social networks. Therefore, your experiences are important.

The study is conducted by the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS).

What does the project entail?

In this study you will be asked to fill out an online questionnaire, or be interviewed over the telephone or through a secure video service – you can choose which mode you prefer. It will take approximately 25 minutes to complete the questionnaire. We would also like to know how you’re doing over time, so we wish to contact you again after 3 and 6 months. At each timepoint, you can decide whether or not you want to participate.

We will ask you about experiences you may have had with other people, the support system, and the legal system, your trust in others and society, a few questions about your background, a bit about what you have experienced and how you are doing now.

Consent to registry data

As we aim to investigate the consequences of sexual assault, we also want to collect information from public registries that have an overview of the use of healthcare services and participation in study- and work life. Relevant registries include the Norwegian Patient Registry and the KUHR database from The Directorate of Health (healthcare utilization), as well as FD-Trygd, Norwegian National Education Database and Statistics Norway (employment, education and income). This information will be collected approximately two years after you have completed the interview/questionnaire. If you do not wish to have such information collected, you can opt out while still participating in the study.

Extended project period

For some individuals, the legal and healthcare treatment process may span over multiple years. Therefore, an extension of the project period may be considered to allow us to continue monitoring participants’ health and progress beyond the initial 6-month period described above. In such a case, you will receive a new information letter, and your consent is not given for such follow-up at this time.

Possible advantages and disadvantages

By participating in this study, you can contribute to important knowledge that can help future sexual assault survivors. Some participants might find it difficult to answer a few questions, as they have the potential to trigger unpleasant memories about the incident. Other than this, participating does not entail any particular disadvantages for you. If any discomfort from the questionnaire is not temporary, you will be offered a phone conversation with a therapist who is not involved in the project in any way. We will also offer personalized feedback to those who participate in the longitudinal study (i.e., at different time points).

Voluntary participation and right to withdraw

Participation in this project is voluntary. There will be no negative consequences for you or your treatment if you decide not to participate, or if you choose to withdraw at a later stage. The sexual assault care centre will not receive any information on whether you decide to participate, or regarding your answers. You can withdraw your consent at any time without giving a reason. If you withdraw your consent, your information will no longer be used for research purposes. You will find information on how to withdraw your consent here.

What happens to your data?

The data registered about you will only be used as described above. We are planning to use the data until 2030. Use and storage time can be extended, but only after approval from the Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics and other relevant authorities.  

You have the right to access all information that is registered about you, and if you wish you can request a copy of your data. You also have the right to have any errors in the registered information corrected, and to request the deletion of collected information until the data is anonymised and published. You also have the right to receive information about the data security measures that apply to the processing of the data. You can register a complaint about the processing of your data to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority and the institution’s Data Protection Officer.

Your data will be stored on a secure research server at the University of Oslo (Services for sensitive data, TSD). All data will be analyzed without names or personal identification numbers, or other directly identifiable information. A code links you to your data through a list of names. The list of names, contact details and respective codes will be stored separately from the rest of the collected data. Only the researchers in this project will have access to this list.

We will process your personal data confidentially and in accordance with data protection legislation (the General Data Protection Regulation and Personal Data Act). No one outside of our project group will have access to your personal data. All publications and disseminations are conducted so that individual participants cannot be recognized. After the research project is completed, the data we have registered will be stored for five years for control purposes.

NKVTS via director Cecilie Daae is responsible for protection of all data. The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics and the Norwegian Centre for Research Data AS (NSD) have considered and approved the research ethics in this project [Case number: 398925]. If you have questions regarding the assessment made by NSD, you can contact them by email: personverntjenester@nsd.no or by telephone: +47 53 21 15 00.