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.

Survivor Confidentiality Releases

Download PDF file:

Full piece "FAQ's on Survivor Confidentiality Releases"

What this is:

This document addresses common questions regarding confidentiality and releases of information. It takes into account the confidentiality and privacy provisions in the U.S. federal Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) and the Family Violence Prevention Services Act of  2010 (FVPSA 2010). In analyzing the meaning and application of the confidentiality and privacy provisions of these statutes, their purpose (to protect adult, youth, and child victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking and their families) must be kept at the forefront.

What this is not:

Confidentiality and privilege laws vary from state to state, as do other laws that may be impacted by this legislation. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is not an expert on individual state laws and does not provide legal advice to VAWA and FVPSA grantees. The analysis below is not intended to be a substitute for local, legal advice from an attorney who is familiar with a particular jurisdiction's laws related to confidentiality and privilege of victim/victim advocate relationships. If you have specific questions or situations that you wish to discuss further, please feel free to contact NNEDV's Safety Net Project: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In general, this information is intended for advocates employed by nonprofit agencies. Nevertheless, it is also important for other partner agencies and professionals to understand as well. As a partner of a nonprofit agency, when requesting information from another agency, you want to be sure that the information you're getting has been obtained properly. Furthermore, it is important for partners to understand that nonprofit advocates must abide by certain legal limitations when releasing information.