You may want clarification about which resources are confidential (individuals who are legally and ethically bound to keep confidential all information shared with them in the course of providing counsel and support, except under certain limited circumstances outlined below), and which resources are not (individuals who are required to report any incident they learn of that may involve sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or misconduct, or stalking to a HRO or the Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator).
If you are unsure about what you want to do, we encourage you to talk with a confidential resource to understand your options and decide what would be best for you. These confidential resources may include the Center for Health and Wellness, the Chaplain’s Office, MiddSafe Advocates, and WomenSafe.
In general, communications between a person seeking care and a medical or mental health professional, religious advisor, or trained sexual assault advocate are confidential. The medical, mental health, and religious professionals and MiddSafe Advocates at Middlebury, and their off-campus counterparts, respect and protect confidential communications from students, faculty, and staff to the extent they are legally able to do so. These professionals may have to breach a confidence, however, when they perceive a serious risk of danger or threat to any person or property. They may also be required by law to report certain crimes (e.g., any allegation of sexual and/or physical abuse of a person under 18).
An individual who speaks to a confidential resource must understand that, if they want to maintain confidentiality, Middlebury will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the respondent. However, confidential resources may assist the individual in receiving other forms of protection and support, such as victim advocacy; academic accommodations; disability, health, or mental health services; and changes to living, working, or transportation arrangements. An individual who initially requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with Middlebury or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated. These confidential resources will help to direct the individual to the appropriate resources in the event that the individual wishes to file an internal complaint with Middlebury or report to the police.
All faculty and staff members, including residential life staff and ombudspersons, who are not medical or counseling professionals, clergy, or MiddSafe Advocates, are not permitted to honor requests for confidentiality. Nonconfidential faculty or staff who learn of an incident of alleged sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or misconduct, stalking, or related retaliation involving a student are required to report that information to an HRO, or the Civil Rights & Title IX Coordinator, all of whom are responsible for ensuring that individuals who may have experienced this prohibited conduct receive information about their rights, resources, and support options.
Requests for Confidentiality
MiddSafe Online Advocate
In addition to MiddSafe’s 24 hour hotline, you can access the MiddSafe Online Advocate, which is a tool for survivors and peers in need of support and information related to sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.
Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC)
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
800-656-HOPE [for men as well as women]
RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, accessible 24/7 by phone and online (online.rainn.org). We also work closely with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers to offer confidential support services to survivors regardless of where they are in their recovery.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Their highly trained advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or informtion, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
Vermont Legal Aid
Vermont Bar Association