While Cambridge for Consent (hereafter referred to as C4C) does not exist as an advice service for University students, we understand there may be occasions where those who have suffered sexual assault, or their friends or family, may choose to confide certain details with members of the C4C committee. Members of C4C have not received any formal training and as such, cannot offer advice in a professional capacity. They can, however, provide access to external support services which survivors, friends and family may contact for help if, and where, they deem it appropriate.
C4C understands confidentiality to mean that no information regarding a student who has approached us may be given to any third party outside of our committee, without that student’s prior, explicit and informed consent. Confidentiality also includes not confirming that any student has or has not contacted C4C committee members, without that student’s consent. There are, however, certain extreme situations, detailed below, where confidentiality may be breached.
The committee can and will share information about individual students on a regular basis within itself. Any such discussion could be informal or formal, but all will occur in a safe and confidential space and the above guidelines shall be upheld. The student must acknowledge the above guidelines within which the committee member is already bound. Any demand to 'not tell anyone at all' is subject to the existing parameters and cannot be agreed to.
In certain circumstances, committee members may feel it is appropriate to break confidentiality. This can be done without the prior consent of the student involved. These are as follows:
1) Where there appears to be a serious risk to the safety of either the student concerned, or anyone else.
2) Where the law requires disclosure for the prevention and detection of terrorism.
Breaches 1) and 2) will only be made in the event that C4C believes it is in the best interest of the student to do so. In the event of a breach of confidentiality, the committee member who has been confided in must first seek the advice of at least one other committee member and in the vast majority of cases the subject of the concern will be notified. The responsibility ultimately lies, however, with the initial committee member to decide whether or not a breach is appropriate.
Due to the sensitive, and potentially upsetting, information committee members will be exposed to; C4C does not view the following situation as a breach of confidentiality. If a committee member is seeking medical help or using a counselling service, they may wish to talk about information that has been given to them. C4C permits the committee member to discuss information that has been passed on to them with a medical professional or counsellor, assuming that said professional has a similarly thorough confidentiality policy. They may not, however, use the student’s name or any other identifying details in this discussion.