Q. I haven’t decided if I want to file a report yet. Can I talk to someone to better understand my options?
Yes. If you are a student, you can speak confidentially to your campus CARE advocate who can walk you through your options to report — as well as the option not to report — and answer questions you may have. If you are a faculty member, other academic appointee or staff member, you can speak confidentially to the trained professionals on your campus.
Find out more about your confidential options at https://ophd.ucmerced.edu/confidential-resources
Q. How do I file a formal report about sexual violence I’ve experienced?
There are a couple different options for filing a formal report. You can file a formal report with your campus through your Title IX Office (Sexual Harassment Office). In addition, you can report to the university police if the violence happened on campus. If the violence occurred off campus, you can file a formal report with local law enforcement, such as the city police or county sheriff’s office.
There is also an avenue for anonymous reporting; please keep in mind that with anonymous reporting, the ability to conduct an investigation and for disciplinary action for the accused may be limited, depending on the information that’s given. You can learn more about these options and what to expect in our Reporting section.
Q. If I decide to file a report, will my name and other personal information be kept confidential?
It depends on which reporting option you choose. For example, if you report to your campus Title IX officer, the university will make every effort to protect your privacy to the greatest legal extent possible. However, some UC personnel who are involved in your case will have access to your information, and your name may be shared with the accused if there is an investigation.
If you decide to file a police report, you can request your name and address remain confidential. If you request that your name and address remain confidential, and if the police report results in criminal charges being filed and a trial, your name and address may be shared with prosecutors or other individuals authorized by law, but your name will not be subject to disclosure in publicly available records.
Because confidentiality issues can be complex, it’s best to speak with your campus CARE advocate if you have additional questions about what happens with your personal information if you report.
Q. If I decide to file a report, will there be an investigation?
It will depend on the information that is given. The university or police, depending on which option you choose, will review the facts you provide and other information available to determine what actions should be taken.
Q. Will the university investigation result in disciplinary action for the accused?
It will depend on the investigation’s findings. After the investigation is completed, the university will determine if a disciplinary proceeding should be held.
UC takes reports of sexual violence very seriously. If you decide to report to the university and if an investigation finds that an individual has violated the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy or other university policies, the university will hold a disciplinary proceeding during which they will decide what disciplinary action will be taken.
Q. What is UC’s policy on retaliation against someone who files a formal report?
Retaliation against a person who brings a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual violence, or someone who participates in an investigation or resolution of a complaint such as a witness, is strictly prohibited under UC policy. The university will respond to reports of retaliation and may take separate disciplinary action.