Confidentiality

Know your options

We encourage victims of sexual misconduct , dating violence or domestic violence, or stalking to talk to someone about what happened, so you can get the support you need, and so the University can respond appropriately. Whether, and the extent to which, a University employee may agree to maintain confidentiality (and not disclose information to the Title IX Coordinator) depends on the employee’s position and responsibilities at the University. This information is intended to make you aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to you, so you can make informed choices about where to turn for help. The University encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups.

As explained below, some employees are required by law to maintain near complete confidentiality; talking to them is sometimes called a “privileged communication.” Other employees may talk to a victim in confidence, and generally only report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Finally, some employees are required to report all details of an incident (including the identities of both the victim and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX Coordinator. A report to these employees constitutes a report to the University, and generally creates a legal obligation for the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.

Privileged and Confidential Communications

Physicians, Psychotherapists, Professional Counselors and Clergy – Physicians, psychotherapists, professional, licensed counselors, and clergy who work or volunteer on or off campus acting solely in those roles or capacity, in the provision of medical or mental health treatment or counseling (including those who work or volunteer in those offices) may not report any information about an incident of sexual misconduct to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, without your consent. You can seek assistance and support from physicians; psychotherapists, professional, licensed counselors, and clergy without triggering a University investigation that could reveal your identity or the fact of your disclosure. However, see limited exceptions below regarding when health care practitioners must report to local law enforcement agencies. Health care practitioners should explain these limited exceptions to you, if applicable. Following is the contact information for professional counselors and physicians (if any) on campus:

  • CSUMB Campus Health Center
  • Campus Health Center, Building 80
  • (831) 582-3969 M-F 8am-5pm
  • Csumb.edu/health
  • CSUMB Personal Growth & Counseling Center
  • Campus Health Center, Building 80
  • (831) 582-3969 M-F 8am-5pm
  • Csumb.edu/pgcc

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselors and Advocates – Sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates who work or volunteer on or off campus in sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women’s centers, and health centers (including all individuals who work or volunteer in these centers and offices, as well as non-professional counselors or advocates, and those who act in that role under their supervision) may talk to you without revealing any information about you or the incident of sexual misconduct to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator, without your consent. You can seek assistance and support from these counselors and advocates without triggering a University investigation that could reveal your identity or that you disclosed an incident to them. However, see limited exceptions below regarding when sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates must report to local law enforcement agencies. Counselors and advocates should explain these limited exceptions to you, if applicable. Following is contact information for sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates:

ON CAMPUS

OFF CAMPUS SERVICES

  • Monterey County Rape Crisis Center
  • P.O. Box 2630
  • Monterey, CA 93940
  • (831) 375-HELP (4357) 24 hours
  • Mtryrapecrisis.org

If you speak only to a physician, professional counselor, clergy member, sexual assault counselor, domestic violence counselor or advocate, you must understand that the University will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the perpetrator, if you choose to maintain confidentiality.

Even so, these individuals will still assist you in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as victim advocacy, disability, medical/health or mental health services, or legal services. They may not, however, be able to assist you with University academic support or accommodations, or changes to University-based living or working schedules, or assist with adjustments to course schedules. Only the University and the Title IX Coordinator can assist with those matters (see below). A victim who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the University or report the incident to the police, and thus have the incident fully investigated. These counselors and advocates can provide you with that assistance if you wish. These counselors and advocates will also explain that Title IX includes protections against retaliation, and that the University will not only take steps to prevent retaliation when it knows or reasonably should know of possible retaliation, but will also take strong responsive action if it occurs.

EXCEPTIONS: Under California law, any health practitioner employed in a health facility, clinic, physician’s office, or local or state public health department or clinic is required to make a report to local law enforcement if he or she provides medical services for a physical condition to a patient/victim who he or she knows or reasonably suspects is suffering from: (1) a wound or physical injury inflicted by a firearm; or (2) any wound or other physical injury inflicted upon a victim where the injury is the result of assaultive or abusive conduct (including sexual misconduct and dating and domestic violence). This exception does not apply to sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates. Health care practitioners will explain this limited exception to you, if applicable.

Additionally, under California law, all professionals described above (physicians, psychotherapists, professional counselors, clergy, and sexual assault and domestic violence counselors and advocates) are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters, and are required to report incidents involving victims under 18 years of age to local law enforcement. These professionals will explain this limited exception to you, if applicable.

Finally, some or all of these professionals may also have reporting obligations under California law to: (1) local law enforcement in cases involving threats of immediate or imminent harm to self or others where disclosure of the information is necessary to prevent the threatened danger; or (2) to the court if compelled by court order or subpoena in a criminal proceeding related to the incident.

Reporting to University or Local Police

If you report certain sex offenses to local or University Police, the police are required to notify you that your name will become a matter of public record unless confidentiality is requested. If you request that your identity be kept confidential, your name will not become a matter of public record and the police will not report your identity to anyone else at the University, including the Title IX Coordinator. University Police will, however, report the facts of the incident itself to the Title IX Coordinator being sure not to reveal to the Title IX Coordinator your name/identity, or compromise their own criminal investigation.

The University is required by the federal Clery Act to report certain types of crimes (including certain sex offenses) in statistical reports. However, while the University will report the type of incident in the annual crime statistics report known as the Annual Security Report, your name/identity will not be revealed.

Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator and Other University Employees

Most University employees have a duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking when they are on notice of it. When you tell the Title IX Coordinator or another University employee about an incident, you have the right to expect the University to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably. In all cases, we strongly encourage victims to report sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking directly to the Title IX Coordinator.

As detailed above, all University employees except physicians, licensed counselors, sexual assault victim’s advocates must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about incidents of which they become aware. The University will need to determine what happened – and will need to know the names of the victim(s) and the perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the incident.

To the extent possible, information reported to the Title IX Coordinator or other University employee will be shared only with individuals responsible for handling the University’s response to the incident. The University will protect the privacy of individuals involved except as otherwise required by law or University policy. A report may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about you and other individuals in the Campus community. While such information is considered confidential, University policy regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information concerning a reported incident. In such cases, efforts will be made to redact the records, as appropriate, in order to protect your identity and privacy and the privacy of other involved individuals.

The Title IX Coordinator, Wendy Smith, can be reached at: wensmith@csumb.edu or (831) 582-3510

If you request of the Title IX Coordinator or another University employee that your identity remain completely confidential, the Title IX Coordinator will explain that the University cannot always honor that request and cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. If you wish to maintain confidentiality or request that no investigation be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the University must weigh that request against the University’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, employees and third parties, including you. Under those circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether your request for complete confidentiality and/or no investigation can be honored under the facts and circumstances of the particular case, including whether the University has a legal obligation to report the incident, conduct an investigation or take other appropriate steps. Without information about your identity, the University’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the perpetrator may be severely limited.

The Title IX Coordinator will inform you prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the University’s response. The Title IX Coordinator will remain mindful of your well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect you from retaliation or harm, and work with you to create a safety plan. Retaliation against you, whether by students or employees, will not be tolerated. The University and Title IX Coordinator will also:

  • Provide interim remedies requested by you, if they are reasonably available, regardless of whether you choose to report sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, or stalking to Campus or local police;
  • Assist you in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, medical/health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus;
  • Provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of Campus-based living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the Respondent pending the outcome of the investigation) or adjustments for assignments, tests, or work duties; and
  • Inform you of your right to report a crime to University or local police – and provide you with assistance if you wish to do so.

The University will not require you to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding if you do not wish to participate.

The University will not generally notify parents or legal guardians of your report unless you are under the age of 18 or you provide the University with written permission to do so.

Under California law, and pursuant to University policy, certain University employees, including the Title IX Coordinator, are mandatory child abuse and neglect reporters and should explain to victims under 18 years of age that they are required to report the incident to the police. However, the identity of the person who reports and the report itself are confidential and disclosed only among appropriate agencies.

Because the University is under a continuing legal obligation to address the issue of sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking campus-wide, any such reports (including non-identifying reports) may also prompt the University to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported incident occurred; increased education, training and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revising its policies and practices.

The Office of the Ombuds, if available on your specific Campus, provides confidential, neutral and informal dispute resolution services, provides information about University policies and procedures, and makes referrals. However, in sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, and stalking cases, the Ombuds as well as all other University employees (except for physicians, licensed counselors, sexual assault counselors and advocates as discussed above) must report incidents to the Title IX Coordinator.

NOTE: If the University determines that the perpetrator poses a serious and immediate threat to the Campus community, a designated Campus Security Authority under the Clery Act may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the community. Any such warning will not include any information that identifies the victim.