Confidentiality

Please refer to the Sexual Misconduct policy for a list of confidential and non-confidential support resources.

As a public institution, the university cannot promise complete confidentiality. Each situation is resolved as discreetly as possible, maintaining confidentiality to the extent allowed under state and federal laws. Complaints about faculty and staff may be subject to public records requests. In addition, there may be situations that mandate reporting, such as child or elder abuse.

Complaints against students are protected under federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (for more information, see http://registrar.osu.edu/policies/releaseinfo.asp).   Information can only be shared within the university if there is a “legitimate educational need”.  In order for information to be shared outside of the university, a survivor would need to give explicit permission, that information would need to be subpoenaed or one of the other exceptions occurred.  If a survivor or co-survivor has any questions about what will happen if they share information with any university employee, it is important to ask.

Ohio State is obligated to follow up on all allegations. There are times when a one-on-one conversation between a university official and the alleged harasser can resolve the situation without revealing the complainant’s identity. If this doesn’t work or if the situation is not appropriate for this kind of resolution, then it may be necessary to reveal the complainant’s identity to conduct an investigation.

Medical services provide confidentiality to patients.  In general, a medical/health professional is required to keep a patient’s information confidential. That is, no information can be shared without explicit permission from the survivor unless it is subpoenaed due to a court case.  Please note, however, that if someone presents a danger to themselves or others, medical/health professionals may break confidentiality to ensure safety.   

You may make an anonymous complaint by contacting the University Anonymous Reporting Line by calling EthicsPoint toll-free at 1-866-294-9350 or via the web at https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/7689/index.html. However, without the identity and contact information of the complainant and the ability to obtain additional information, the university's ability to investigate and resolve the situation may be limited.