Written confidentiality forms for victim advocacy agencies generally include the following:
A list of the specific information that the victim authorizes the advocate or agency to disclose
A list of persons or agencies that can receive the specific, confidential information from the advocate and/or her agency
A signature line for the victim to sign (after reading the form and discussing it thoroughly with her advocate)
An expiration date after which no information may be disclosed absent the signing of a new form
Notice that the victim can rescind her permission to disclose information at any time, if she chooses.
If the victim has not provided her express consent for the victim advocate to reveal otherwise confidential information, advocates should not reveal any information to prosecutors, law enforcement, or defense attorneys unless the advocate receives:
(1.) a court order,
(2.) a qualifying subpoena or
(3.) a qualifying discovery request.
As mentioned previously, the victim advocate can be called to testify in either a criminal or civil case.
Victim advocates may come in to contact with criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, civil defense attorneys, and plaintiff’s attorneys. This can create a lot of confusion. Thus, when the victim advocate receives a qualifying subpoena or discovery request, she should contact the attorney who submitted the request in order to ascertain what the attorney expects her to testify about.