Requesting Confidentiality

  •  If a victim discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the University must weigh that request against the University’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the victim.

    If the University honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the University’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited. Although rare, there are times when the University may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. The University of Pittsburgh has designated the following individual to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a responsible employee is on notice of alleged sexual violence:

    University of Pittsburgh Title IX Coordinator: 412-648-7861 or

    When weighing a victim’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, a range of factors will be considered, including the increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as whether:

    • there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged perpetrator;
    • the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;
    • the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators; whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
    • the victim is a minor;
    • the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
    • the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.

    The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the University to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary action. If none of these factors is present, the University will likely respect the victim’s request for confidentiality.

    If the University determines that it cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality
    , the University will inform the victim prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the University’s response.

    The University will remain ever mindful of the victim’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the victim from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the victim, whether by students or University employees, is strictly prohibited by University policy and will not be tolerated. The University will also:

    • assist the victim in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus;
    • 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 victim of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement – and provide the victim with assistance if the victim wishes to do so.

    The University may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. Because the University is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the University 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.

    If the University determines that it can respect a victim’s request for confidentiality, the University will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the victim.

    NOTE: If the University determines that the alleged perpetrator(s) pose a serious and immediate threat to the campus community, a timely warning may be issued to the community by a member of the Campus Security Authority. However, that warning will not include information that identifies the victim.