Introduction

Why confidentiality? Why technology and data? Why collaborate? Who can use this Toolkit?

Why Confidentiality?

For any victim service agency or community organization working with survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, maintaining confidentiality is paramount to preserving the safety, privacy, and trust of those seeking services. When survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking seek services, they take huge personal risks. If an abuser should discover that a victim is seeking services, the abuse could increase in frequency and severity. Minimizing the risks to victims is an integral part of providing services to survivors.

Confidentiality & Partnerships

Community partnerships can enhance the overall services that survivors receive and save lives. They are critical and beneficial to this work. The individual agencies that make up these partnerships have varying roles and confidentiality obligations and it’s important to preserve each of those separate roles and uphold their individual obligations. These partnerships may look like:

  • Advocates co-located in a police station or a prosecutor’s office
  • Coordinated Community Response Teams
  • Community-wide data collection initiatives & shared data systems
  • Partnering to streamline referrals and services
  • Family Justice Centers

Who Can Use This Toolkit?

This toolkit was created to assist non-profit victim service organizations and programs, co-located partnerships, coordinated community response teams, and innovative partnerships of victim service providers working to address domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This toolkit is meant to help providers and agencies to understand and follow the confidentiality obligations mandated by the funding they receive through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), and related state and federal privacy laws.