Institutions must identify how the Institution will protect the confidentiality of victims/survivors, including how publicly-available record-keeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the victim/survivor, to the extent permissible by law.
Policies should address the following:
- Need to Know - Clearly state that only individuals who have a need to know, or to whom the victim/survivor has provided information, will have access to information about the notification and/or police report and resulting investigation(s). Materials and information should be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and other relevant parties. If the victim/survivor wishes to withdraw consent to share information with a certain party, that request should be honored.
A more public disclosure of general information about a case may be made if it is determined that such disclosure is necessary due to serious and imminent threat to the community. In these events, the victim’s/survivor’s name and identifying information should not be included.
- Serious and Imminent Threat - Explain that while any request made by a victim/survivor that a matter not be investigated should be taken into account, appropriate steps should be taken to respond to the matter in cases of serious and imminent threat to the community.
- Confidential Resources - Inform victims/survivors of the confidential resources available to them both on campus and in the community. State that victims/survivors can seek assistance from off-campus crisis centers, which can maintain confidentiality. Include names of and contact information for these centers. It is highly recommended that institutions designate confidential resources for victims/survivors to increase the likelihood that they will choose to report law enforcement and/or notify the institution of an incident. Additionally, proactively training confidential resources in the institution’s policies is vital to their ability to help victims/survivors navigate the reporting and adjudication processes.
- Non-confidential/Obligation to Report - Clearly state which types of staff and faculty members are not confidential resources and therefore have an obligation to inform campus authorities of any reports of IPV, stalking, or sexual violence. Provide clear links to campus reporting forms, and information on where staff and faculty can direct questions about their duty to report.