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Confidential Resources: Confidentiality vs. Privacy

Swarthmore is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a report of sexual misconduct.  However, it is important to understand that privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings under our Policy. Read below to learn more about the differences between privacy and confidentiality and how they relate to our processes.

Privacy generally means that information related to a report of sexual misconduct will only be shared with a limited circle of individuals. The use of this information is limited to those College employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report. While not bound by confidentiality, these individuals will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals in the process. Reporting to the Title IX Office and/or to any of the deputy Title IX Coordinators is private.

There may be instances when disclosing the reporting party’s identity is necessary to provide certain supportive measures (e.g., where the responding party would need to know the identity of the reporting party in order to comply with a contact restriction).

The Title IX Office will maintain as private any supportive measures provided to the parties, to the extent that maintaining such privacy would not impair its ability to provide the supportive measures.

Confidentiality means that information shared by an individual with designated campus or community professionals cannot be revealed to any other individual without express permission from the disclosing individual.


These campus or community professionals are prohibited from breaking confidentiality unless there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others. They include:

Any other College employee (faculty, administrator, or instructional staff) who is not designated as a confidential resource has reporting obligations as a Responsible Employee, and is required to share any reports of sexual misconduct with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. This includes designated student employees, including resident assistants (RAs), Student Academic Mentors (SAMs), and SWATeam members, who are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator all information about which they are aware, including the identities of the parties involved in the sexual misconduct, if known.

If a report of misconduct discloses a serious and immediate threat to the Swarthmore community, the College (through Public Safety) will issue a timely notification to the community to protect its health and safety. The timely notification will not include any identifying information about the reporting party. At no time will the College release the name of the reporting party to the general public without the express consent of the reporting party or as otherwise permitted or required by law.