University of Vermont

Confidentiality

Confidentiality refers to information that has some degree of protection from further disclosure without the consent of the person providing the information.  When possible, the University will respect a victim’s request for confidentiality related to a report of sexual misconduct, assault or harassment.  However, with limited exceptions, all reports of sexual assault or other criminal conduct must be reported to Police Services for the purpose of maintaining crime statistics under federal law.  Even then, the wishes of the victim related to follow up, investigation and criminal and/or University response will be followed where possible.  Where the University determines that the conduct reported demonstrates a serious risk of further harm to the victim or to other members of the University community, however, further investigation or follow up will occur, even if the victim does not want to be involved.  In these circumstances, efforts will be made to keep the victim informed of the progress of any investigation to the extent that the information would not interfere with or jeopardize a criminal investigation.

If a victim wants to disclose sexual misconduct or assault to a confidential source, the victim should speak with a licensed counselor, mental health professional, or a member of the clergy. Information shared with certified counselors and/or religious clergy is generally legally protected from further disclosure as confidential or “privileged” information.  Communications to certified counselors or clergy cannot be further disclosed without consent absent extraordinary circumstances.  For instance, a certified counselor cannot disclose information shared within the counseling relationship unless the counselor believes there is an imminent risk of significant harm to the person providing the information or to another person.

Last modified February 19 2014 03:42 PM