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Roffee, J. A., & Waling, A. (2017). Resolving ethical challenges when researching with minority and vulnerable populations: LGBTIQ victims of violence, harassment and bullying. Research Ethics, 13(1), 4–22. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747016116658693


This article provides an analysis of the issues and ethical challenges faced in a study with LGBTIQ student participants concerning their experiences of violence, harassment and bullying in tertiary settings. The authors detail the ethical challenges behind the development of the project, and around conducting research with a minority and vulnerable population. The article illustrates how the utilization of feminist and queer theory has impacted the process of conducting ethical research, including approaches to recruitment and participant autonomy. The dilemmas of confidentiality within a self-labelled and easily identifiable population are resolved. Further, unexpected challenges and risks to participant safety created through adherence to institutional ethical research frameworks are rectified. Importantly, the authors seek to avoid revictimization of participants and to instead empower students in their responses to violence, harassment and bullying that they may have experienced. The authors point to utilization of theoretical foundations and continual reflexive improvement as elements of best practice for those seeking to research minority populations, and in projects marked by the participation of those deemed vulnerable and high-risk.