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.

new: 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.

News Articles

National News

UO Campus Specific News

Statements from Organizations Opposing Wide-Brush Mandatory Reporting Requirements

National & International Organizations

Campus Specific Organizations

Statements Supporting Wide-Brush Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Faculty Commentary

Student and Survivor Voices

Scholarly and Scientific Research

Some Universities with Policies that do NOT Require all Faculty to be Required Reporters

  1. University of Michigan
  2. NYU
  3. Cal Tech
  4. CUNY
  5. Hofstra
  6. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  7. George Washington University
  8. University of Miami
  9. University of South Carolina
  10. Catholic University
  11. University of Nebraska
  12. Brown University
  13. Vanderbilt University

(More details about specific policies here.)

See Also