Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides an overview on questions that commonly come up concerning confidentiality releases, U.S. Federal Laws on confidentiality, record retention and deletion, mandatory reporting, the use of surveillance cameras, answering subpoenas and much more. For ease, this section is set up in an easy-to-read question and answer format.

FVPSA & Confidentiality

What is FVPSA?

First authorized in 1984, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) is the only U.S. federal funding source dedicated directly to domestic violence shelters and services. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FVPSA was reauthorized as part of the U.S. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) through fiscal year 2015 and was signed into law on December 20, 2010.

How does FVPSA confidentiality differ from VAWA confidentiality?

A: With the 2010 amendment, the U.S. federal FVPSA confidentiality obligations (42 USC §10402) specifically parallel those of VAWA 2005. FVPSA prohibits their grantees from disclosing, revealing or releasing any victim’s confidential or private information without the victim’s informed, written and reasonably time‐limited consent. All disclosures are prohibited unless compelled by statutory or court mandate. If disclosure of victim information is forced, adequate safety protections must be offered. Like VAWA, they include steps such as such as limiting release only to entities with a specific need to know, only providing the minimum amount of information necessary, taking steps to protect the privacy and safety of those impacted by the disclosure, and, making reasonable attempts to notify the victim of the disclosure.