Understanding Confidentiality

Privacy concerns are often at the forefront when someone has experienced sexual misconduct. It is useful to know the confidentiality that individuals can expect from each of the University resources. University officials are trained in the importance of confidentiality and the protocols for maintaining that confidentiality.

Information shared with SHARE Center counselors, healthcare providers, and chaplains

When you consult them in their professional capacities, SHARE Center counselors, healthcare providers (including mental health practitioners), and chaplains will not reveal any information you share without your explicit permission except in rare circumstances where your or another person’s health and safety is at imminent risk.

Information shared with Title IX Coordinators

Title IX coordinators will not share identifying information with anyone beyond the Title IX office without your permission, except in the rare event of an immediate or ongoing threat to your safety or community safety. In cases of sexual assault or other criminal conduct, Title IX coordinators will share non-identifying details about the incident with the Yale Police Department for statistical purposes (as required by the federal Clery Act), and will advise you about the resources and assistance that the police can provide.

Title IX coordinators will work with you to address your immediate concerns, connect you with appropriate resources, review the complaint options (formal, informal, criminal) available for further action, and help facilitate those actions at your request. Many actions and accommodations can be taken or made while protecting your identity. Some accommodations may require the Title IX coordinator to work with other university personnel (e.g., deans, Human Resources, housing staff), but they will only be pursued with your permission.

You may ask that a complaint be pursued without revealing your name or other identifying details. Your request will be accommodated to the extent possible, but an anonymous complaint on its own cannot be the basis for disciplinary action. In situations where a confidentiality request limits an investigation or prevents the University from taking direct disciplinary action, the University will take other reasonable steps to minimize the effects of the reported misconduct and to prevent its recurrence. You may also ask that a complaint not be pursued. However, in the rare event of an immediate or ongoing threat, the University may need to take additional action to protect your safety and the safety of others.

Information shared with the University-Wide Committee (UWC)

UWC members observe strict confidentiality with respect to all information they receive about a case.

Information shared with Yale Police Department (YPD)

The Yale Police Department offers confidential consultations regarding possible criminal investigation. Ordinarily, the decision about whether or not to press criminal charges is up to you. In cases of sexual misconduct, the YPD will share information with the Title IX office, and will advise you about the resources and assistance the university can provide.

“Messages from the Chief”
Under the federal Clery Act, the university is responsible for issuing “timely warnings,” also known as “Messages from the Chief,” in response to some reports. Only specific crimes require a timely warning; the crime must have occurred within the officially-designated campus area; and there must be a serious or ongoing threat to the community. If you report an incident that meets these criteria, a message will be sent out from the Chief of Police. The warning message will contain a brief description of the crime, and may indicate the location where the incident occurred. It will not include any information that would identify you or other individuals involved.

Information shared with individuals with reporting responsibilities

Certain individuals on campus have a responsibility to report allegations of sexual misconduct to a Title IX coordinator. These individuals include all faculty, certain administrators, UWC members, and students in official roles such as Communication and Consent Educators (CCEs), Peer Liaisons, and First-Year Counselors. When a Title IX coordinator receives information about an incident of sexual misconduct, they may reach out to you to assess the situation and to offer you options and accommodations.

Some individuals, known as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) under the federal Clery Act, also have a responsibility to report allegations of sexual misconduct to the Yale Police Department without including identifying details. A CSA is defined by law as a member of the campus police/public safety and security, any individual who has responsibility for campus security or an individual who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

Publications

The University issues regular publications—such
 as the semi-annual Report of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct and the annual Campus Safety Report—to inform the community and the public in general about complaints of sexual misconduct brought to the uUniversity’s attention. These reports are written with great care to preserve the privacy of the individuals involved by omitting names and providing only minimal descriptions or statistical summariesView the reports.