Laws, Statutes, and Regulations
Laws, statutes, and regulations create victims' right to privacy. For example, protections for client confidentiality are included as conditions of funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Both sources of federal funding are commonly used to serve sexual assault victims. In today's data-rich society, a growing number of state and federal laws protect data privacy and the confidentiality of information obtained in certain professional relationships (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA], for example).
Victim service centers and advocates should be well versed in the protections afforded to victims in local state/territory statutes. Furthermore, keep in mind that consistent use and enforcement of clear, comprehensive center confidentiality policies and procedures will maintain victims' confidential communications most effectively.