A confidential resource is an individual who is legally and ethically bound to keep confidential all information shared with them in the course of providing counsel and support, except under the circumstances noted below. In general, the law recognizes and protects the confidentiality of communications between a person seeking care and a medical or mental health professional, religious advisor or trained sexual assault advocate. The medical, mental health, and religious professionals (i.e., individuals acting in their religious professional capacity through the Chaplain’s Office) at Norwich, 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. In addition, medical and mental health professionals may be required by law to report certain crimes (e.g., allegations 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, the University will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator. 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, as described below. An individual who initially requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the University 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 Norwich or report to the police.