If a victim discloses an incident to a member of the campus community who has an obligation to report to relevant administrators and the Title IX Coordinator, but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the college must weigh that request against the college’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the victim.
If the college honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.
Although rare, there are times when the college may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students.
When weighing a victim’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the college will consider a range of factors, including the following:
- The increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:
- whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
- whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
- whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;
- whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- whether the victim is a minor;
- whether the college possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
- whether the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the college to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the college will likely respect the victim’s request for confidentiality.
If the college determines that it cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the college will inform the victim prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the college’s response.