Confidentiality, Privacy and Reporting Policy
Institutions must clearly articulate who are “responsible employees” under Title IX for purposes of initiating notice and/or investigation, and those who have more discretion on how they act in response to notice of gender-based discrimination. Different people on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality, depending on their roles at the university and upon university policy.
When consulting campus resources, all parties should be aware of confidentiality, privacy and mandatory reporting in order to make informed choices. On campus, some resources can offer you confidentiality, sharing options and advice without any obligation to tell anyone unless you want them to. Other resources are expressly there for you to report crimes and policy violations and they will take action when you report your victimization to them. Most resources on campus fall in the middle of these two extremes. Neither the university nor the law requires them to divulge private information that is shared with them except in certain circumstances, some of which are described below. A victim may seek assistance from these university officials without starting a formal process that is beyond the victim’s control, or violates her/his privacy.
To Report Confidentiality
If one desires that details of the incident be kept confidential, they should speak with on-campus mental health counselor, nurse practitioner, or off-campus rape crisis resources who can maintain confidentiality except where the safety of you or others are at risk. The campus counselor is available to help you free of charge and can be seen during regular onsite hours or on an emergency basis. In addition, you may speak on and off-campus with the Faith Services Coordinator, the Campus Ministries representative, the Catholic Services Coordinator or non-Indiana Tech affiliated members of the clergy and chaplains, who will also keep reports made to them confidential.
Reporting to Those Who Can Maintain the Privacy of What You Share
You may seek advice from certain resources without revealing your personal identity if you wish for them to not tell anyone else your private, personally identifiable information. All university employees are considered “responsible employees” for purposes of putting the institution on notice and for whom mandatory reporting is required, other than the stated confidential resources. Even with their mandatory reporting responsibility, they will maintain your privacy to the extent they are able by only informing those with a legitimate need, such as a Title IX Coordinator. If you are unsure of someone’s duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you talk to them. They will be able to tell you, and help you make decisions about who can help you best.
Some of these resources, such as RAs, should be instructed to share incident reports with their supervisors, but they will not share any personally identifiable information about your report unless you give permission, except in the rare event that the incident reveals a need to protect you or other members of the community. If your personal identifiable information is shared, it will only be shared as necessary with as few people as possible, and all efforts will be made to protect your privacy.
You are encouraged to speak to officials of the institution to make formal reports of incidents (deans, vice presidents, or other administrators with supervisory responsibilities, campus security, and human resources, including those responsible for Title IX compliance and listed at the beginning of this policy). Notice to them is official notice to the institution. You have the right and can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct to be taken seriously by the institution when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures. Formal reporting means that only people who need to know will be told, and information will be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.
Online Reporting Process
You may submit your formal complaint through our online reporting process by visiting the Title IX (sexual misconduct) Violation Report Form. This online submission will automatically generate a report that will be sent to the Title IX Coordinator.
Off Campus Resources and Reporting
Students may also seek confidential counseling through community resources such as the Sexual Assault Treatment Center, Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau, the Rape Crisis Hotline, the YWCA shelter, the National Women’s Health Organization, or the Center for Non-Violence. Additionally, students may visit www.notalone.gov for more resources and guidelines regarding how investigations regarding a reported sexual assault must be handled.
Filing a report with the Fort Wayne police department will:
- Ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim;
- Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam);
- Assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.
A student should understand that reporting a sexual assault with both the university and the local police department are separate acts, and we encourage students to report to both agencies. The victim of a sexual assault may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and the university or through only one entity. A chosen or assigned victim advocate will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision. For information on how to contact these resources, consult the student handbook for on-campus resources and the student emergency resources through the university web site for a complete listing.
Anonymous complaints will be accepted; however, the university may be limited in its options for investigating or resolving anonymous complaints because of the inability to assess the author’s veracity and accurateness of the report. However, if the report contains enough details and information to assess the potential validity of the report, an investigation will be conducted. All other reports will be kept on record for future evaluation if additional reports or accusations are submitted.
Intentional False Reporting
Because harassment frequently involves interactions between persons that are not witnessed by others, reports of harassment may not always be substantiated by additional evidence. Lack of evidence or proof should not discourage individuals from reporting harassment under this policy. However, individuals who make reports that are later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action. This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report cannot be substantiated by an investigation.
The university will not tolerate retaliation in any form against any faculty, staff, student, or volunteer who files an allegation, serves as a witness, assists an alleger, or participates in an investigation of discrimination or harassment. University policy and state and federal law prohibit retaliation against an individual for reporting discrimination, sexual violence or harassment, or for participating in an investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to sanctions independent of the merits of the allegation. Allegations of or questions about retaliation should be directed to the Office of Human Resources, Student Affairs, or the Title IX Coordinator.
Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. Mandated federal reporters include: student/conduct affairs, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.
Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations
Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware that university administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The university will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed at the end of the above paragraph.
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