Options for Confidentially Disclosing Sexual Violence
Rockland Community College (the College) wants you to get the information and support you need regardless of whether you would like to move forward with a report of sexual violence to campus officials or to police. You may want to talk with someone about something you observed or experienced, even if you are not sure that the behavior constitutes sexual violence. A conversation where questions can be answered is far superior to keeping something to yourself. Confidentiality varies, and this document is aimed at helping you understand how confidentiality applies to different resources that may be available to you.
In this Policy:
- Privileged and Confidential Resources.
- Non-Professional Counselors and Advocates.
- Privacy versus Confidentiality.
- Requesting Confidentiality: How the College Will Weigh the Request and Respond.
- Public Awareness/Advocacy Events.
- Anonymous Disclosure.
- Institutional Crime Reporting.
Individuals who are confidential resources will not report crimes to law enforcement or college officials without your permission, except for extreme circumstances, such as a health and/or safety emergency. At the College, this includes:
- Counseling Services
Technology Center, Suite 8220, Room 8236
845-574-4306 to schedule
- Privileged and Confidential Counselors at the Counseling Center:
- Professor Kathy Carroll, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
- Professor Janice Moore, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Professor Inez Rivera, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Individuals serving in a pastoral role in our Religious Life Office at the College:
- Center for Christian Life
Michael VerSchneider, Catholic Campus Minister
Student Union, Room 3203
- Center for Jewish Life/Hillel
Rabbi Dov Oliver, Director
Student Union, Room 3207
- Center for Muslim Life
Dr. Syed Ali, Director
Student Union, Room 3201
Off-campus options to disclose sexual violence confidentially include (note that these outside options do not provide any information to the campus):
- Off-campus counselors and advocates. Crisis services offices will generally maintain confidentiality unless you request disclosure and sign a consent or waiver form. More information on an agency’s policies on confidentiality may be obtained directly from the agency.
- Center for Safety & Change
Main Walk-In Center:
9 Johnsons Lane New City, NY 10956
24-Hour Hotline: 845-634-3344
The Center for Safety & Change offers free and confidential services for survivors of sexual assault. The Center for Safety & Change’s Rape Crisis Counselors are trained to help. By calling the 24-hour hotline, you can be assisted by a Rape Crisis Counselor, who can meet you at the hospital or police station. At the hospital Emergency Department, the Rape Crisis Counselor and the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) will explain your rights and your choices, including:
- Medication to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
- Emergency contraception
- Evidence collection
- Police notification
- Pressing charges against the perpetrator
SAFE services are provided at Nyack Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital through a collaborative partnership with the Center for Safety & Change. SAFE services are provided FREE to survivors of sexual assault age 12 and above. Parental permission is not required.
- “Spirit of Rockland” Special Victims Center
Good Samaritan Hospital
The “Spirit of Rockland” Special Victims Center is a collaborative partnership among the Center for Safety & Change; the Rockland District Attorney’s Office; the Rockland Department of Social Services; the Rockland Department of Health; the Rockland Police Chiefs Association; and Good Samaritan Hospital. A specially trained advocate is located at the Special Victims Center to provide the following free and confidential services to sexual assault, domestic violence and other special victims:
- Accompaniment to hospital, district attorney’s office, parole hearings, police and courts
- Accompaniment to social service and other human service agencies
- Crisis intervention, counseling in person and by phone
- Culturally sensitive and bilingual services
- Assistance with safety planning
- Information and referrals
- Advocacy with courts, social service agencies, criminal justice system, health service agencies and other systems
- Follow up contacts throughout the court process
- Assistance with Victim Impact Statements
- Information and Assistance with completion of the New York State Office of Victim Services claim application, which allows victims of crime to apply for compensation of out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance or other resources.
Off-campus healthcare providers
- Good Samaritan Hospital
Emergency Room Department
255 Lafayette Avenue
Suffern, New York
“Spirit of Rockland” Special Victims Center (located at Good Samaritan Hospital)
- Nyack Hospital
Emergency Room Department
Nyack, NY 10960
- Note that medical office and insurance billing practices may reveal information to the insurance policyholder, including medication and/or examinations paid for or administered. The New York State Office of Victim Services may be able to assist in compensating victims/survivors for health care and counseling services, including emergency compensation. More information may be found here: Rights of Crime Victims in New York, or by calling 1-800-247-8035. Options are explained here: Help for Crime Victims.
Note that even individuals who can typically maintain confidentiality are subject to exceptions under the law, including when an individual is a threat to him or herself or others and the mandatory reporting of child abuse.
Non-Professional Counselors and Advocates:
Non-professional counselors and advocates can also assist you without sharing information that could identify you. At the College, this includes:
- Counseling Services
Technology Center, Suite 8220, Room 8236
845-574-4306 to schedule
- Non-Licensed Counselors at the Counseling Center:
- Professor Nilda Aragones
- Professor Lenny Gersten
- Professor Maureen Brown
- Other employees, including front desk staff
- Student workers and peer counselors
These individuals will report the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident to the College's Title IX Coordinator, but will consult with you to ensure no personally identifying details are shared without your consent. These individuals are not considered confidential resources as discussed above.
Privacy versus Confidentiality:
Even the College offices and employees who cannot guarantee confidentiality will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible. The information you provide to a non-confidential resource will be relayed only as necessary to investigate and/or seek a resolution and to notify the Title IX Coordinator or designee, who is responsible under the law for tracking patterns and spotting systemic issues. The College will limit the disclosure as much as possible, even if the Title IX Coordinator determines that the request for confidentiality cannot be honored.
Requesting Confidentiality: How the College Will Weigh the Request and Respond:
If you disclose an incident to a College employee who is responsible for responding to or reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment, but wish to maintain confidentiality or do not consent to the institution’s request to initiate an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator must weigh your request against our obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of our community, including you.
We will assist you with academic, transportation, employment, and other reasonable and available accommodations regardless of your reporting choices. While reporting individuals may request accommodations through several College offices, the following office can serve as a primary point of contact to assist with these measures:
- Student Development Center
Technology Center, Suite 8220
845-574-4306 or 845-574-4307
We also may take proactive steps, such as training or awareness efforts, to combat sexual violence in a general way that does not identify you or the situation you disclosed.
We may seek consent from you prior to conducting an investigation. You may decline to consent to an investigation, and that determination will be honored unless the College’s failure to act does not adequately mitigate the risk of harm to you or other members of the College community. Honoring your request may limit our ability to meaningfully investigate and pursue conduct action against an accused individual. If we determine that an investigation is required, we will notify you and take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist you.
When you disclose an incident to someone who is responsible for responding to or reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment, but wish to maintain confidentiality, the College will consider many factors to determine whether to proceed despite that request. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
- Whether the incident represents escalation, such as a situation that previously involved sustained stalking, the increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence;
- Whether the accused used a weapon or force;
- Whether the reporting individual is a minor; and
- Whether we possess other means to obtain evidence such as security footage, and whether the report reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.
If the College determines that it must move forward with an investigation, the reporting individual or victim/survivor will be notified and the College will take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist them.
Public Awareness/Advocacy Events:
If you disclose a situation through a public awareness event such as “Take Back the Night,” “Walk with Me,” candlelight vigils, protests, or other public event, the College is not obligated to begin an investigation. The College may use the information you provide to inform the need for additional education and prevention efforts.
You may report a crime or other incident, including any type of sexual violence, by completing the form on the College’s Public Safety web page: Anonymous Incident Report. This form generates a report that is reviewed during normal business hours and should not be used if you need an immediate police, medical or fire response. If an immediate response is needed, call 845-574-4911 or 911. Your identification information (such as name, email, IP address, etc.) will not be collected when submitting information to Public Safety through the form on their web page and, accordingly, we will not be able to contact you to follow up on your report.
You may also report a crime or other incident, including any type of sexual violence, by calling the College’s anonymous tip line at 845-574-4636. No information regarding the sender (such as name, phone number, location, etc.) will be collected when using this anonymous tip line. Please include the location (address of the incident), type of incident, date and time, description of the suspect(s), and any other important information. Do not use the anonymous tip line to report an emergency or a crime-in-progress. If an immediate response is needed, call 845-574-4911 or 911.
The following Hotlines are for crisis intervention, resources and referrals and are not a reporting mechanism:
- Center for Safety & Change: 24-Hour Hotline: 845-634-3344
- New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: 1-800-942-6906
Institutional Crime Reporting:
Reports of certain crimes occurring in certain geographic locations will be included in the College Clery Act Annual Security Report in an anonymized manner that neither identifies the specifics of the crime or the identity of the reporting individual.
Director of Public Safety
Eugene Levy Fieldhouse, Room 5205
Title IX Coordinator
Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer
Brucker Hall, Room 6301
Title IX Deputy Coordinators
Dean of Student Development
Technology Center, Room 8320
Dana StilleyAssociate Vice President of Enrollment Management
Technology Center, Room 8129
The College is obligated to issue timely warnings of Clery Act crimes occurring within relevant geography that represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees (subject to exceptions when potentially compromising law enforcement efforts and when the warning itself could potentially identify the reporting individual). A reporting individual will never be identified in a timely warning.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act allows institutions to share information with parents when there is a health or safety emergency. Generally, the College will not share information about a report of sexual violence with parents without the permission of the reporting individual.