The Phoenix Center at Auraria | Anschutz trains all of their confidential advocates in accordance to Colorado Revised Statute §13-90-107. This statute describes confidentiality as people whose records are protected from being subpoenaed. While the PCA is confidential, they are considered mandatory reporters. Being mandatory reporters (similarly to mental healthcare providers) are required to report child abuse and/or neglect or harming yourself or others.
The PCA is able to create a safe space for people to receive support after/during their experience of interpersonal violence. The PCA does not have a requirement to disclose any client's experience with interpersonal violence to their educational institution or law enforcement. A confidential advocate cannot be a witness in criminal or civil proceedings without the consent of their client. In order for confidential advocates to share any information regarding a client, the client must give documented permission, typically through the use of a “Release of Information” (ROI). An ROI typically includes an “expiration date” that keep a client’s file from remaining vulnerable.
Many universities include some type of responsible employee policy. This policy can require members of the campus that hire, promote, formally evaluate, advise, or grade to be considered “responsible employees”. Responsible employees are required to report information about crimes or behavioral misconduct to the correct reporting body.
The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus asks that violations of the nondiscrimination or sexual misconduct policy are reported to the Office of Equity. Each university has a different office that this information can be reported. MSU Denver has the Office of Equal Opportunity, 303-615-0036, to handle their institution's reports. Community College of Denver also has an Office of Equal Opportunity, 303-352-3042.
Filing a report is as simple as notifying the office of the pertinent information. The requirement to report does not mean there is a requirement to engage. If a responsible employee hears someone disclose discrimination or sexual misconduct, they are required to contact our office. The office will then outreach to the impacted party. The impacted party is not required to engage with our office.
There are a few different objectives of the Responsible Employee model. The first is that impacted parties don’t have to be re-traumatized by having to repeat their story over and over again to get resources. By telling the Office of Equity, they are able to provide support and limit the amount details that need to be disclosed.
Another objective is that we can ensure impacted parties are getting the appropriate resources. We don’t anticipate that every responsible employee is well-versed in all of the resources available to impacted parties both on and off-campus. Our office can help make the appropriate referrals based on the information shared with us.
And lastly, if someone has experienced discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, they may not be the first person to have reported somebody else’s behavior. If there is a pattern of behavior, it is important that the Office of Equity is able to stop, prevent, and remedy the behavior. There can be a larger campus safety threat that we are unable to address if the University is unaware of it.