Confidentiality Is Vital
In 2002, Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc., surveyed sexual assault victims residing in the state of Connecticut.3 All victims surveyed said that it was “important” or “very important” that what they said or shared with a sexual assault crisis advocate be kept confidential. The victims did not want the details of their assaults, their feelings, or their situations shared. However, initial fears about going to a sexual assault crisis center subsided when they understood that services were confidential.
This feedback is consistent with findings reported in Rape in America,4 which states that "victims are extremely concerned about people finding out and finding reasons to blame them for the rape." Thus, victims are often reluctant to report a rape because they are afraid that others will blame them, their families and other people will find out, details of their lives will be disclosed, and their names will be made public by the news media. When services are not confidential, victims are clearly hesitant to seek the help they need and deserve.