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Message From the DirectorAbout This GuideResources
Publication Date: April 2009
Contents
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About This Guide

  • About the Author
  • Acknowledgments
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
  • About the Author

    Joanne Zannoni, MSW, LICSW, has worked in the field of violence against women in various capacities and settings since 1992. She is currently the associate director of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS), in East Hartford, Connecticut, where she is responsible for overseeing CONNSACS' confidentiality and violence prevention projects. She has presented on these topics locally and nationally and coauthored Advocating for Victim/Survivors of Sexual Assault While Protecting Their Privacy, a confidentiality tips manual for sexual assault victim advocates.

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    Acknowledgments

    Since 2001, Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS) has worked to strengthen sexual assault victims' right to privacy by developing and providing training opportunities, resources, and technical assistance to sexual assault victim advocates, attorneys, and other professionals at the local, state, and national levels. Products developed by CONNSACS include a curriculum manual for attorneys, two curriculum manuals for sexual assault victim advocates, a brochure for victims (available in English and Spanish), and a webinar series.

    CONNSACS' efforts to uphold victims' right to privacy have been strengthened by the involvement of victims, sexual assault victim advocates, and colleagues from around the country. Special thanks go to those individuals who have served with CONNSACS staff members on CONNSACS' confidentiality project team: Jamie L. Mills, attorney, Hartford, Connecticut; Alison L. Johnson, consultant, Middletown, Connecticut; Susan Omilian, attorney, West Hartford, Connecticut; and Helen L. McGonigle, attorney, Brookfield, Connecticut.

    Product development was made possible through collaborative processes primarily involving victims, victim advocates, and attorney consultants. Early efforts were funded through a Legal Assistance for Victims grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Recent efforts were funded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).

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    U.S. Department of Justice
    Office of Justice Programs
    810 Seventh Street NW.
    Washington, DC 20531

    Eric H. Holder, Jr.
    Attorney General

    Laurie O. Robinson
    Acting Assistant Attorney General

    Joye E. Frost
    Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime

    Office of Justice Programs
    Innovation • Partnerships • Safer Neighborhoods
    www.ojp.usdoj.gov

    Office for Victims of Crime
    www.ovc.gov

    NCJ 226501

    This product was supported by grant number 2005-VF-GX-K027, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

    The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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    Bibliography

    Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. 2006. Advocating for Victims of Sexual Assault While Protecting Their Privacy. East Hartford, CT: Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc.

    Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. 2004. Confidentiality: The Foundation of Healing. East Hartford, CT: Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc.

    Herman, J. 1997. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York, NY: Basic Books.

    Kilpatrick, D.G., C. Edmunds, and A. Seymour, 1992. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Charleston, SC: National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina.

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    Notes

    1 Individuals who experience sexual violence are both victims and survivors of that experience. Usage of the term "victim" in this document is intended to be inclusive of all individuals who have experienced sexual violence.

    2 Sexual assault victims are male and female. Sexual assault advocates are also male and female. Usage of singular pronouns in this document is intended to be inclusive. The principles discussed apply equally.

    3 Survey questions included the following: (1) How important is/was it to you that what you said or shared with your counselor at a sexual assault crisis center be kept confidential? (2) Did you consider not coming to a sexual assault crisis center because you were afraid that anything you told a counselor might not be kept confidential and would be shared with others? If yes, what convinced you to come to the center? (3) What information were/are you most concerned about being shared with others? (4) Do you know of anyone who didn't go get help at a crisis center after a sexual assault because he or she was afraid that information given to the counselor might be shared?

    4 Kilpatrick, D.G., C. Edmunds, and A. Seymour, 1992, Rape in America: A Report to the Nation, Charleston, SC: National Victim Center and the Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, p. 4.

    5 Herman, J., 1997, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York, NY; Basic Books.

    6 National Center for Victims of Crime, November 2002, Privacy of Victims' Counseling Communications, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime.

    7 U.S. Department of Defense, April 2004, Task Force Report on Care for Victims of Sexual Assault, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Defense.

    8 Some publicized examples include the Duke University lacrosse case; the Kobe Bryant case; and a recent case involving a Portland, Oregon, ambulance paramedic who posted information about a victim and her assault on MySpace.

    9 Formerly referred to as a "rape kit," and sometimes referred to as a biological forensic examination kit (Bio Kit) or Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK Kit). Because medical forensic evidence is collected from victims of other sex crimes in addition to rape, and because the evidence collected may include items such as clothing and bedding, the term "sexual assault evidence collection kit" is used in this document. Additionally, the term "rape kit" may be misconstrued to refer to the items a perpetrator uses against the victim.

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