If you are a victim and would like to maintain your confidentiality when reporting an incident that violates the university’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy, your request will be strongly considered.
Because these requests limit the university’s ability to meaningfully investigate an incident and pursue disciplinary action against the accused, the Gender Equity and Title IX Compliance Office must weigh your request carefully against an obligation to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory environment for our campus community. Although rare, there may be times when a victim’s request for confidentiality cannot be honored.
Options for complete confidentiality
If you want to discuss possible harassment in a more confidential setting or clarify your feelings about proceeding, the Gender Equity and Title IX Compliance Office team recommends you consider consulting a social worker, therapist, or member of the clergy. These individuals are permitted by law to assure greater confidentiality.
Clergy and counseling resources on campus can be found under Where to Seek Help webpage and many resources are also listed in the Safety and Security brochure (PDF).
In addition, any member of our community may contact Habif Health and Wellness Center or Kim Webb for a confidential discussion and, if desired, referral to off-campus resources.
- Habif Health and Wellness Center
- Kim Webb
Director, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center
314-935-8761 (office hours)
314-935-8080 (24/7 SARAH)
Factors considered in confidentiality requests
A range of factors are weighed when considering a victim’s request for confidentiality, including:
- Any circumstances suggesting an increased risk of the reported perpetrator committing additional acts of sexual violence or other violence. For example, whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same reported perpetrator; whether the reported perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence; or whether the reported perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others; and whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- Circumstances that suggest that there is an increased risk of future acts of sexual violence under similar circumstances such as 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;
- Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- Whether the victim is a minor; and
- Whether the university possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence).
The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the university to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the university will likely respect the victim’s request for confidentiality.
If the university cannot honor the request
Because the university has a legal obligation to address sexual harassment, a complete guarantee of confidentiality cannot be provided if it conflicts with the university’s obligation to meaningfully investigate or take corrective action.
However, the Gender Equity and Title IX Compliance Office strives to protect the confidentiality of those reporting harassment and of those accused of harassment. Any information disclosed will be as limited as possible.
- A victim will be informed if a confidentiality request cannot be honored. Any shared information will be limited to necessary individuals only, and only for the purposes of our investigation and response.
- The Gender Equity and Title IX Compliance Office will also work with the victim to create an ongoing safety plan that includes support, potential accommodations and any necessary protective measures to protect the victim from retaliation or harm.
- All records of complaints, responses and investigations will be kept as confidential, as permitted by law.