Maintaining confidentiality is vital if sexual assault victims1,2 are to receive the assistance they need and deserve. However, many factors continue to compromise victims' right to privacy. Advocates are crucial in ensuring victim confidentiality, but they need support to effectively, consistently, and successfully protect victims' right to privacy.
The focus of this online guide, developed by Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc., is sexual assault victims' right to privacy. It reinforces the importance of keeping information confidential and highlights the power of employing consistent practices to create a culture of respect for victims' privacy. This guide contains general recommendations, addresses common challenges, provides core concepts, and offers practical tips to assist advocates in their efforts to maintain victim confidentiality.
While some existing laws, statutes, and regulations establish victims' legal rights regarding privacy and confidential communication, the term "right" is used here in a much broader sense. Laws, statutes, and regulations should be used to support victim service center's and advocate's local policies and practices to promote this culture, rather than serving as the sole basis for maintaining confidentiality. Be aware that laws governing confidentiality for victims vary by state and territory. Be familiar with protections afforded to victims locally.