The University encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to someone about what happened for necessary support and so the University can respond appropriately. Whether, and the extent to which, a University employee may agree to maintain confidentiality (and not disclose information to the Title IX Coordinator) depends on the employee’s position and responsibilities at the University. This information is intended to inform victims of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available in order to make informed choices to receive help. The University encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups. As explained below, some employees are required by law to maintain near complete confidentiality. University Police, the Title IX Coordinator, University-employed physicians, professional counselors, sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates, and certain other University employees are required to explain to victims their rights and options with respect to confidentiality. Other employees may talk to a victim in confidence, and generally only report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Some employees are required to report all details of an incident (including the identities of both the victim and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX Coordinator. A report to these employees constitutes a report to the University, and generally creates a legal obligation for the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.
Privileged and Confidential Communications
Physicians, Psychotherapists, Professional Counselors and Clergy– Physicians, psychotherapists, professional licensed counselors, and clergy who work or volunteer on or off campus, and who provide medical or mental health treatment or counseling (including those who act in that role under their supervision) may not report any information about an incident of Sexual Violence to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, without the victim’s consent. Assistance and support from physicians, psychotherapists, professional, licensed counselors, and clergy, is available without triggering a University investigation that could reveal victim identity. However, see limited exceptions below regarding when health care practitioners must report to local law enforcement agencies. Healthcare practitioners should explain these limited exceptions, if applicable.
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselors and Advocates – Sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates who work or volunteer on or off campus in sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women’s centers, and health centers (including all individuals who work or volunteer in these centers and offices, as well as non-professional counselors or advocates, and those who act in that role under their supervision) may speak to victims without revealing any information about the incident to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, without consent. Assistance and support from these counselors and advocates may be sought without triggering a University investigation that could reveal a victim’s identity or that an incident was disclosed. However, see limited exceptions below regarding when sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates must report to local law enforcement agencies. Counselors and advocates should explain these limited exceptions, if applicable.
The University will be unable to conduct an investigation into a particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against a perpetrator if a victim chooses to (1) speak only to a physician, professional counselor, clergy member, sexual assault counselor, domestic violence counselor or advocate; and (2) maintain complete confidentiality. Even so, these individuals will assist victims in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as victim advocacy, disability, medical/health or mental health services, or legal services, and will advise victims regarding their right to file a Title IX complaint with the University and a separate complaint with local or University police. If a victim insists on confidentiality, such professionals, counselors and advocates will likely not be able to assist the victim with: University academic support or accommodations; changes to University-based living or working schedules; or adjustments to course schedules.
A victim who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the University or report the incident to the police, and thus have the incident fully investigated. These counselors and advocates can provide victims with that assistance if requested by the victim. These counselors and advocates will also explain that Title IX includes protections against retaliation, and that the University will not only take steps to prevent retaliation when it knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.
Under California law, any health practitioner employed in a health facility, clinic, physician’s office, or local or state public health department or clinic is required to make a report to local law enforcement if he or she provides medical services for a physical condition to a patient/victim who he or she knows or reasonably suspects is suffering from:
- a wound or physical injury inflicted by a firearm
- any wound or other physical injury inflicted upon a victim where the injury is the result of assaultive or abusive conduct (including Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, and Dating Violence)
This exception does not apply to sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates. Health care practitioners should explain this limited exception to you, if applicable.
Additionally, under California law, all professionals described above (physicians, psychotherapists, professional counselors, clergy, and sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates) are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters, and are required to report incidents involving victims under 18 years of age to local law enforcement. These professionals will explain this limited exception to you, if applicable.
Finally, some or all of these professionals may also have reporting obligations under California law to:
- local law enforcement in cases involving threats of immediate or imminent harm to self or others where disclosure of the information is necessary to prevent the threatened danger
- to the court if compelled by court order or subpoena in a criminal proceeding related to the sexual violence incident
If applicable, these professionals will explain this limited exception to you.
Reporting to Police
Reporting to police about Sexual Violence requires the police to notify victims that their name will become a matter of public record unless confidentiality is requested. If victims requests their identity be kept confidential, their name will not become a matter of public record and the police will not report their identity to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator. University Police will, however, report the facts of the incident itself to the Title IX Coordinator being sure not to reveal the names/identity, or compromise their own criminal investigation. The University is required by the federal Clery Act to report certain types of crimes (including certain sex offenses) in statistical reports. However, while the University will report the type of incident in the annual crime statistics report known as the Annual Security Report, victim names/identities will not be revealed. Victims will be escorted to a safe place if necessary, and may be transported to a hospital or sexual response assault center for a medical exam. University Police can also provide access to a confidential sexual assault advocate, if desired. First and foremost, the medical exam received from a hospital or sexual assault response center treats any physical injury or effect. The exam may include a vaginal and/or anal examination, testing, and prophylactic treatment for sexually transmitted infections and possible pregnancy. Second, the medical exam properly collects and preserves evidence. Seeking a medical exam for treatment and evidence collection does not commit victims to any particular course of action, and medical records are kept confidential.
Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator and Other University Employees
Most University employees have a duty to report incidents of sexual violence when they are on notice of it. When the Title IX Coordinator or another University employee is notified of a sexual violence incident, the victim has the right to expect the University to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate and resolve the matter promptly and equitably. In all cases, the University strongly encourages victims to report Sexual Violence directly to the campus Title IX Coordinator.
As detailed above, all University employees except physicians, licensed counselors, sexual assault counselors and advocates, must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about any Sexual Violence incidents of which they become aware. The University will need to determine what happened – and will need to know the names of the victim(s) and the perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the incident.
To the extent possible, information reported to the Title IX Coordinator or other university employee will be shared only with individuals responsible for handling the University’s response to the incident. The University will protect the privacy of individuals involved in a sexual violence incident except as otherwise required by law or university policy. A sexual violence report may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about the victim and other individuals in the campus community. While such information is considered confidential, university policy regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information concerning a report of sexual violence. In such cases, efforts will be made to redact the records, as appropriate, in order to protect the victim and other involved individual’s identities. Except as detailed in the section on Privileged and Confidential Communications above, no University employee, including the Title IX Coordinator, should disclose the victim’s identity to the police without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to the police.
If a victim requests complete confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will explain that the University cannot always honor the request. The university must weigh that request against the obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, employees and third parties. Without information about a victim’s identity, the University’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the perpetrator may be severely limited. Prior to starting an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the victim.
To the extent possible, the Title IX Coordinator will:
- only share information with people responsible for handling the University’s response
- remain mindful of your well-being
- take ongoing steps to protect from retaliation or harm
- work to create a safety plan
- provide interim remedies requested, if they are reasonably available, regardless of whether the incident has been reported to police
- provide assistance in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, medical/health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus
- provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of campus-based living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the perpetrator pending the outcome of the investigation) or adjustments for assignments, tests, or work duties; and
- inform victims of the right to report a crime to police and provide assistance if requested
The University will not require victim participation in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding and will not generally notify parents or legal guardians of a report of sexual violence unless a victim is under the age of 18 or has provided the University with written permission to do so.
Under California law, and pursuant to University policy, all University employees, including the Title IX Coordinator, are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters and should explain to victims under 18 years of age that they are required to report the sexual violence incident to the police. However, the identity of the person who reports and the report itself are confidential and disclosed only among appropriate agencies.
The University is under a continuing legal obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide. Reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) may also prompt the University to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increased education, training and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revising its policies and practices.
NOTE: If the University determines that the perpetrator poses a serious and immediate threat to the campus community, a designated Campus Security Authority under the Clery Act may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the community. Any such warning will not include any information that identifies the victim.