Getting the Support You Need

Some very important considerations

Matching support with your needs: If you have experienced an incident of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, other sexual misconduct, or sexual harassment, and you want help, the College’s priority is for you to find the support that best fits your needs. There is no “right,” “wrong,” or “normal” way to respond to the traumatic experience of sexual violence, and it is common for needs to change over time.

Support is a broad concept: Support can mean many things. This is because every person impacted by sexual violence is different and has different needs. Support can address a variety of needs—including, emotional and psychological; medical; academic. Support may also include getting the information you want about your options for involving law enforcement and/or pursuing a formal action under relevant Title IX policies and procedures. Some want to move forward with a formal process right away while others want time to think about whether this is right for them. Some are initially opposed to making a claim but change their mind, and others conclude that taking action will compromise their healing process.

Be empowered: Understand privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity. We know how important it is for those impacted by sexual violence to feel empowered to make decisions about their support and next steps in the aftermath of the incident, including the decision about whether to pursue a formal claim against the accused perpetrator. We believe it will help you feel in control of the process and make the decisions that are best for you if you understand the concepts of privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity in the Title IX context. These concepts are related, but have distinct meanings and apply to support providers in different ways.

Privacy Privacy generally means that information communicated by a survivor about an incident of sexual, dating or stalking violence or sexual harassment will be shared only with individuals who need to know the information in order to provide support or provide assistance to the survivor (e.g. reviewing, investigating or resolving a complaint). There are many employees at Scripps and in the Consortium who have a duty to protect your privacy but are required to report information they receive about incidents to a member of Scripps’ Title IX team (and, sometimes in cross- campus matters to the other college’s Title IX office). These employees are known as “Responsible Employees.” At Scripps Responsible Employees include the President and her leadership team, faculty, all Student Affairs staff, RAs, New Student Program coordinators, Peer Mentor team leaders, the Title IX team, coaches, and the registrar. If you are in doubt as to whether a member of the staff is a responsible employee, you may ask them before proceeding with the conversation. If there is still a question, you may email the Scripps Title IX Coordinator at ssteffen@scrippscollege.edu to ask for clarification without disclosing any details about an incident, including the name and school of the accused.
Confidentiality Confidentiality means that the support provider is prohibited from disclosing your identity or the substance of your conversation to the College, in the absence of imminent threat of harm to self or others.* There are confidential support services within the Consortium such as counselors at Monsour Counseling Center, medical staff at the Student Health Center, and clergy members at the CUC Chaplain office. These resources are not “anonymous” because you will reveal your identity to them and they work at the Consortium, but they will not disclose what you tell them about an incident of sexual violence to College officials. Outside licensed counselors, physicians, psychotherapists, and clergy are both confidential and anonymous resources.
*In some but not all cases, the confidential support provider also may have an evidentiary privilege that prevents the person from being compelled to testify in a civil or criminal court proceeding. We are not here in a position to identify specifically who does or does not qualify for this legal evidentiary privilege, but you may ask the specific provider before you disclose information to them.
Anonymity Anonymity means that you, as a survivor of sexual violence, do not want to or are not ready to reveal your identity to anyone at Scripps or the Consortium. If your goal is complete anonymity, with one exception, you will need to seek support outside of the Consortium. Examples of anonymous support providers include Project Sister, House of Ruth, and external physical or mental health providers. These resources will not disclose your identity to the College without your consent (and may not even require you to disclose your identity to them). At the Consortium, survivors may also access the Scripps Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault hotline anonymously (in other words, without revealing their identity to the hotline) and obtain information about support resources. Even if you choose to reveal your identity to the hotline, they will protect your confidentiality, in the absence of an imminent threat to self or others.