What terms will help me
understand the way the College responds
to reports of sexual violence?
| Victim, Survivor, Victim/Survivor:
“Terms used interchangeably by people
who have experienced sexual assault and by the professionals
who interact with them. ‘Victim’ is often associated with
the early trauma following a rape of sexual assault and
emphasizes the fact that a crime has been committed.
The terms ‘survivor’ and ‘victim/survivor’ emerged as
part of the sexual assault victim’s rights movement to
describe individuals who have experienced a violent incident,
but no longer want any association with the perpetrator or
the stigma of being viewed as remaining under the rapist’s
influence and control. In other words, the victim is now
dealing with the trauma of the crime, which has been put
into a perspective that allows her, as a survivor, to go
on with life without the extensive, negative disruption
created by the assault.
Confidentiality is a guarantee that no
information will be shared with third parties
without the reporter’s permission. Licensed
mental or physical health workers are held to
standards of confidentiality as prescribed by
their professions. The only exception to confidentiality by those
licensed workers is if there is an imminent danger of harm to self
or others, in which cases these professionals are required by law
to notify the police of that danger.
NOTE: FIND OUT ABOUT POLICE CONFIDENTIAL REPORTS FROM PETE
Information contained in a
student’s educational record is governed by the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). In general,
FERPA guarantees privacy of records for all students.
FERPA assures that only individuals at any college
who have a “legitimate educational need to know”
may access a student’s record. (For the full college
policy on FERPA see
| Confidential Non-actionable Incident Report (CNA):
This is a written report of an incident involving sexual assault,
dating violence, and/or stalking. A verbal report of an incident of
sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking to any college staff
member with the exception of University Police and the staff of Health
Services and the Counseling Center will result in the filing of a CNA.
The victim may choose to write the CNA, or to have the staff member
write it on their behalf. In either case, the CNA is forwarded to
the Grant Coordinator, and no further action is taken unless the victim
chooses to pursue either criminal or campus disciplinary action.
Dell Publishing (1994). American Heritage Dictionary (3rd ed.). New York.
Fisher, B., Cullen, F., and Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women: Findings from two national-level studies. Washington, DC: National
[i] (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 1996).
[ii] (CALCASA Campus Violence Prevention Resource Guides p.28
[iii] (National Criminal Justice Association, 1993).
[iv] For discussions of stalking behaviors, see both Hall, _____ etc. 1998; and Orion, ___1997.
[v] Levitz-Spitz, ____________.
"Stalking: Terrorism at our Doors - How Social Workers Can Help Victims Fight Back,” Social Work, October 2003, 58(4) p. 504.
Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics. [On-line]. Available: http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf