Compelled Disclosure -- The Problem with "Required Reporting" of Sexual Violence on College Campuses
A Compilation of Articles and Resources
Compiled by Jennifer J Freyd
Note: I have an opinion on this issue -- I'm opposed to compelled disclosure (sometimes called required reporting; reporting without the consent of the adult survivor) on ethical grounds: it is a form of compelled betrayal. Betrayal causes harm. There is no evidence of which I am aware that compelled disclosure is effective and indication it is not safe. Compelled disclosure is a violation of basic human rights to privacy and autonomy; removing autonomy is particularly harmful to survivors (as we know from social science research); and requiring compelled disclosure is fundamentally counter to academic freedom, learning, and equal access to education (and is thus a civil rights violation). I'm also opposed on practical grounds: compelled disclosure will chill reporting on campus and, in the meantime, there are good approaches available to encouraging voluntary -- and institutionally accountable -- reporting. (Accountability is very important: currently we may have a kind of Reporting Theatre in which policies compel reporting but then many reports are actually buried.) We can and we must have liberation on all fronts: liberation from sexual violence and liberation from attempts to crush academic freedom or deny survivors autonomy.
: 17 November 2016 Update: Yesterday there was unanimous support by the University of Oregon Senate for our new proposed reporting policy that does NOT make most employees mandatory reporters but instead obligates them to provide information, support the students and follow the wishes of the survivor/student. (Here is more about the task force that proposed the policy.) We hope this policy will be accepted by the university administration. We also hope this policy can serve as a model for other campuses and organizations -- one in which we shift the focus from required reporting to required supporting.
UO Campus Specific News
- Proposed UO Policy May Help Sexual Assault Victims by Kelly Kenoyer, Eugene Weekly, 1 December 2016.
- Sexual assault reporting policy, ‘sanctuary’ campus resolution meet UO Senate approval by Will Campbell, Emerald, 16 November 2016
- Workgroup on sexual assault reporting to hold student forum by Emily Olson, Emerald, 23 September 2016.
- UO Senate workgroup to narrow approach to responsible employee sexual assault reporting by
Emily Olson, Emerald, 2 September 2016.
- UO Senate work group meets to lay out groundwork for permanent mandatory reporting policy by Tran Nguyen, Emerald, 26 August 2016
- The debate around mandatory reporting is not over by Max Thornberry, Emerald, 21 July 2016
- UO Senate temporarily votes down mandatory reporting policy, but debate will continue by Max Thornberry, Emerald, 18 May 2016
- Survivor Empowerment Alliance discusses first mandatory reporting policies by
Branden Andersen, Emerald, 15 April 2012.
Statements from Organizations Opposing Wide-Brush Mandatory Reporting Requirements
National & International Organizations
Campus Specific Organizations
Statements Supporting Wide-Brush Mandatory Reporting Requirements
- Required Supporting Instead of Required Reporting: Responding Well to Disclosures of Campus Sexual Violence by Jennifer Freyd, Huffington Post Blog, 1 December 2016.
- The Problem with “Required Reporting” Rules for Sexual Violence on Campus by Jennifer Freyd, Huffington Post Blog, 25 April 2016.
- Ohio University faculty members want mandatory reporter rule reevaluated by Miriam Shadis and Patricia Stokes (and many signers), The Post, 22 October 2015
- The Chilling Effect of Mandatory Reporting of Sexual Assault by Michele Moody-Adams, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 March 2015
- Trust me…no never mind by Denice Labertew, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Blog, 5 February 2015
Student and Survivor Voices
Scholarly and Scientific Research
Some Universities with Policies that do NOT Require all Faculty to be Required Reporters
- University of Michigan
- Cal Tech
- University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
- George Washington University
- University of Miami
- University of South Carolina
- Catholic University
University of Nebraska
- Brown University
- Vanderbilt University
(More details about specific policies here.)