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Because of the nature of violence and the fact that it involves relationships – between men and women, adults and children, children and children and so forth – there are all kinds of risks involved in ‘interfering’ in those relationships or interacting with those who perpetrate or are subject to violent acts. All projects, regardless of their nature, must consider carefully the ethical questions that may arise in the project. These include the need to protect the confidentiality of data relating to victims, perpetrators and people at risk – and cover, for example, the way data is collected, how it is stored, who has access to it and how it is used. They include the right to privacy of both victims and perpetrators and the repercussions of ignoring that right – including, for example, the right not to answer questions, to participate in data collection or to grant interviews. They include the risks that those working on the project might face if they come into contact with perpetrators or can be traced – risks ranging from harassment to physical harm. They include the nature of questions asked, especially given the often intimate personal nature of violent relationships and suffering. All projects should take a human rights-based approach to implementation and all methodologies used should pass the test of ethical conduct.
Additionally, organizations working in Daphne projects (lead agencies and partners) must be able to demonstrate that they have procedures in place to screen staff and volunteers who come into contact with beneficiaries, especially children. Any volunteers must be fully briefed on the ethics of project activity and beneficiaries should be protected at all times.