Confidentiality and Confidential Resources

Confidentiality and Confidential Resources 

A.  Duty to Report.  All EVMS faculty and staff have a duty to report misconduct to the EVMS Office of Compliance pursuant to the EVMS Code of Conduct.  In addition, Responsible Employees (any member of one of the following departments: EVMS Police and Public Safety, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Legal and Compliance, Student Housing)  must immediately report all relevant facts regarding reports of sex discrimination/sexual misconduct to a Title IX Coordinator.  As such, requests to discuss sex discrimination and/or sexual misconduct with faculty or staff “off the record” cannot be honored.  If you desire to speak with someone on a confidential basis, please see Section D, Confidential Resources below. 

B.  Confidentiality.   All reports/complaints involving sex discrimination or sexual misconduct will be handled in such a manner as to try and protect the privacy of all parties involved and will only be shared with individuals who have a need to know.  Please note, however, that complete confidentiality/anonymity cannot be guaranteed.  In many cases  it is possible to address and resolve issues without revealing a reporter/complainant’s identity.  In other cases, however, this may not be possible.  Even when the reporter/complainant requests anonymity and/or requests that the alleged perpetrator not be punished, EVMS must move forward with addressing the allegations.  In such event, or if an anonymous report is received on the EVMS Compliance Hotline, EVMS will make every effort to  investigate and respond consistent with the reporter/complaint’s request for confidentiality/anonymity.   The Institutional Title IX coordinator will assess the circumstances and determine if such request can be honored.  If it cannot, and there is no threat to the campus (see Section C below), the reporter/complainant will be notified that confidentiality/anonymity cannot be maintained, what disclosures and to whom will be necessary, and the Title IX Coordinator will work with the reporter/complainant to determine how best to proceed.  It should be noted that insisting on maintaining anonymity may substantially limit the ability of EVMS to complete its investigation and respond effectively.  An individual who requests anonymity that results in a limited investigation may, at any time within a year of the anonymous complaint, request that a full investigation be conducted.

C.  Confidentiality and Threats to the EVMS Campus.  There are times when the circumstances of a report or complaint reveal a potential or continuing threat to the EVMS campus, its employees, students, or visitors.  This threat may override any request for confidentiality and the Institutional Title IX Coordinator shall notify the EVMS Safety Management and Response Team (SMART), which will evaluate the circumstances and any request for confidentiality/anonymity.   SMART will make a determination regarding actions required for campus safety.  The reporter/complainant shall be notified by a Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible that confidentiality/anonymity could not be maintained, what disclosures and to whom will be necessary or were made.    In addition, most allegations of sexual violence against students that are reported to the Institutional Title IX Coordinator will require review by the Sexual Violence Review Committee and potential disclosure to law enforcement and the Commonwealth’s Attorney, as outlined here.

D. Confidential Resources.  Title IX is meant to empower individuals.  Thus, while we strongly encourage you to make a report or formal  complaint about sex discrimination or sexual misconduct to ensure EVMS can take swift action to address the issue, it is also your right to not to make a report or formal complaint.  If you choose not to make a report/complaint, and especially in cases of sexual assault, you may still want, or need, to talk with someone confidentially.  The Confidential Resources  provides confidential resources, such as hotlines, counseling, and victim advocacy, to individuals who have experienced sexual assault, relationship (dating and domestic) violence, or other sexual misconduct.  This list is not exhaustive and certain other individuals/organizations that have professional status, such as health care providers, mental health professionals, and clergy may also be in legally protected roles that permit them to talk with you and guarantee confidentiality.  In addition, discussions that take place at EVMS sponsored public awareness events (i.e. sexual assault support groups or forums) are confidential.

Please remember that talking about sexual assault or sexual misconduct with a confidential resource is not the same as making a report/complaint to EVMS.  If you utilize a confidential resource, EVMS will not be notified about the incident, nor will it be able to conduct an investigation into the incident or pursue disciplinary action against the perpetrator.  If you first choose to talk with a confidential resource you can always decide to make a report/complaint to EVMS (or law enforcement) at a later time.  In addition, you can always use the EVMS anonymous Compliance and Ethics Hotline (1-800-461-9330) to make an anonymous report.  This hotline is manned by a third party vendor and you can provide as much, or as little, information about yourself as you desire.  While EVMS' response to an anonymous report may be limited, EVMS will still investigate every allegation to the fullest extent possible and take immediate and appropriate action to correct sex discrimination and/or sexual misconduct in any of its programs or activities.