Confidentiality and Right to Privacy

Pierce College will seek to protect the privacy of the complainant to the full extent possible, consistent with the legal obligation to investigate, take appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action, and comply with the federal and state law, as well as Pierce College policies and procedures. Although Pierce College will attempt to honor complainants’ requests for confidentiality, it cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Determinations regarding how to handle requests for confidentiality will be made by the Title IX Coordinator.

Requesting Confidentiality

If a complainant wants to remain confidential, they must request it in writing to the Title IX Coordinator who will determine whether the College can honor the request. Factors to be weighed during this determination may include, but are not limited to:

  • The seriousness of the accusation
  • The age of the complainant
  • Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon
  • Whether the respondent has a history of committing acts of sexual violence or violence or has been the subject of other sexual violence complaints
  • Whether the respondent threatened to commit additional acts of sexual violence against the complainant or others
  • Whether relevant evidence can be obtained through other means (e.g., security cameras, other witnesses, physical evidence)

If the College decides not to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action because of a request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate whether other measures are available to limit the effects of the harassment and prevent its recurrence and implement such measures if reasonably feasible. Maintaining confidentiality may limit the college’s ability to fully respond to the allegations.

If the College is unable to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant of the decision and ensure that complainant’s identity is disclosed only to the extent reasonably necessary to effectively conduct and complete the investigation.

Confidential Reporting

Currently, the only option for confidential reporting on campus is with a licensed professional counselor whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling. To speak with a counselor, visit our Counseling Center. Our counselors are bound by state statutes and professional ethics from disclosing information about reports without written releases. Information that counselors receive from the reporter of a sexual assault or the person reported to have been assaulted cannot be disclosed legally to any other person without consent, except under very limited circumstances, such as an imminent threat of danger to self or others, or if the reported victim is a minor. If you are a staff or faculty member who has received a report regarding an incident of sexual assault you are still required to submit a Title IX report.