Reporting and Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Under Title IX
Rhodes College encourages survivors of sexual misconduct to talk to somebody about what happened so survivors of assault can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately. If you decide not to report or file a claim with the Title IX Coordinator you can still choose to speak to a confidential source.
Know Your Options
Privileged and Confidential Communications: Professional Counselors, Chaplains, and Health Care Providers
Professional, licensed counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community (including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) and healthcare providers, such as doctors and nurses, are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without a survivor’s permission. A Chaplain is also able to maintain the same level of confidential communication. Following is the contact information for individuals who qualify as counselors and healthcare providers at Rhodes:
Student Counseling Center
Located in the Moore-Moore Student Health Center
Student Health Services
Located in the Moore-Moore Student Health Center
Located in Burrow 102
Requesting Confidentiality from the College: How the College Will Weigh the Request and Respond
If a survivor discloses an incident to a mandatory reporter but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the survivor.
If the College honors the request for confidentiality, a survivor must understand that the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.
There are times when the College may not be able to honor a survivor’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. When weighing a survivor’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the
Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The seriousness of the misconduct;
- Whether the College is aware of other reports of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct involving the same alleged perpetrator;
- Whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further misconduct or violence;
- Whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
- Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- Whether the survivor is a minor;
- Whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual misconduct;
- Whether the report reveals a pattern of misconduct at a particular location or by a particular individual or group of individuals;
- The accused individual’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the College as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), if applicable.
If the College determines that it cannot maintain a survivor’s confidentiality, the College will inform the survivor prior to starting an investigation, and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the College’s response.
The College will remain ever mindful of the survivor’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the survivor from retaliation or harm and work with the survivor to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the survivor, whether by students or College employees, will not be tolerated. The College will also:
- assist the survivor in accessing other available survivor advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus (see portion of policy identifying these);
- provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course;
- schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- inform the survivor of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement – and provide the survivor with assistance if the survivor wishes to do so.
Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.
All requests for confidentiality will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the College’s ability to investigate and respond fully to an incident may be limited because of requests for confidentiality or to not proceed with disciplinary action. If the College determines that it can respect a survivor’s request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the survivor.
The Clothesline Project and Other Public Awareness Events
Public awareness events such as the Clothesline Project, candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak outs” or other forums in which students disclose incidents of sexual violence, are not considered notice to the College of sexual violence for purposes of triggering its obligation to investigate any particular incident(s). Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts and the College will provide information about students’ Title IX rights at these events.
Off-campus Counselors and Advocates
Off-campus counselors, advocates, and health care providers will also generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the College unless the survivor requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form.
Following is contact information for these off-campus resources:
Shelby County Rape Crisis Center
1750 Madison Avenue, Ste. 102
Memphis, TN 38104
Family Safety Center
1750 Madison Avenue, Ste. 600
Memphis, TN 38103
Tennessee Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
NOTE: While these off-campus counselors and advocates are not required to share information with Rhodes College, they may have reporting or other obligations under state law.