Confidentiality and Safety

Domestic and sexual violence programs work within strict confidentiality guidelines to protect survivor safety, and achieving a good working relationship with partners across systems can be complex. These materials provide information to help promote a shared understanding.

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Technology and Confidentiality Resources Toolkit for Nonprofit Victim Service Agencies and Advocates

National Network to End Domestic Violence

Privacy and confidentiality is paramount to safety for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Yet victim service agencies may need to share information in many ways: with community partners, within community coordinated response teams, through referrals to other service providers, or in community-wide data collection initiatives. This website provides guidance for agencies in understanding their obligations to confidentiality in accordance to federal laws, best practices to ensure survivor-centered services, when and how much information to keep, and how best to share information with others.

Protecting Survivor Confidentiality: Confidentiality Fundamentals and Challenges for Non-Profit Victim Services Providers

Debra Dority
Robin Selig

This presentation explores why confidentiality is core to our work with survivors. Also discusses statutory privilege, VAWA-approved releases of information, informed consent, and child abuse reporting. Note: Some information Oregon-specific. Presentation date preceded successful passage of advocate privilege law in Oregon legislature in 2015.

Coordinated Entry: Confidentiality Requirements in Practice

National Network to End Domestic Violence

This document provides guidance on coordinated entry (CE) model best practices. The guidance was developed based on feedback from practitioners in the victim services field who are currently participating in HUD Continuums of Care (CoCs) and are in compliance with the confidentiality-related legal requirements of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). These insights aim to adhere to federal confidentiality requirements that were created to ensure safety by protecting the identities of victims of domestic violence, while simultaneously ensuring that those victims have access to the type of housing they need in their community of choice.

Available in Korean: coordinated entry (CE): 실질적인 기밀 유지 요건

Available in Spanish: Entrada coordinada: Requisitos de confidencialidad en la práctica

A Call for Safe Housing: A Report on the Need for Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors in the District of Columbia

District Alliance for Safe Housing

From June to August 2007, DASH set out to understand the dynamics that impact domestic violence survivors and their search for safe housing. DASH conducted focus groups with both survivors and providers to hear firsthand some of the obstacles to securing safe affordable housing. This report chronicles their findings and provides recommendations for change.

Across the Continuum: Recommendations on Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Florida

Carol Wick, et al.

This report was created to document and make recommendations to address the housing needs of survivors of domestic abuse throughout Florida. The authors assert that survivors of domestic abuse are affected by a unique type of homelessness and that the continuum of housing options that should be provided differs from someone who is homeless for economic or other reasons. Ideally, all housing options should address the safety, economic and physical recovery needs of the individual survivor and their children and pets.

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness: Ensuring Housing & Educational Stability for Survivors of Domestic Violence & their Children

Michael Santos
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

A comprehensive presentation that includes information about housing protections for survivors as well as protections for children and youth. Provides guidance toward best practices with these populations.

Exploring the Core Service Delivery Processes of an Evidence-Based Community Advocacy Program for Women with Abusive Partners

Nicole E. Allen, et al.

This study examined survivors’ reflections on the Community Advocacy Project, an empirically supported intervention for women with abusive partners. The study examined the service delivery processes that survivors affirmed or identified as core components of the intervention. Qualitative analysis of interviews with 51 survivors indicated that 3 main service delivery elements contributed to positive outcomes: orientation to the whole person, unconditional validation and acceptance, and an orientation to information provision and action. These overarching themes are described and implications for domestic violence services and dissemination are discussed.

Transitional Housing Toolkit

National Network to End Domestic Violence

This toolkit furnishes transitional housing providers with easy access to information and resources to enhance services to survivors. The information provided here addresses frequently asked questions, common challenges, best practices, templates for adaptation, and resources for additional information and assistance. Topics include models and approaches, financial empowerment, voluntary services, and confidentiality.

Safety Planning for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence: A Toolkit for Homeless/Housing Programs

National Alliance for Safe Housing

Survivors face numerous barriers to keeping or establishing safe housing, often forcing them to devise unsafe housing arrangements, live in danger on the streets, or even to stay with or return to an abusive partner just so that they and their children have beds to sleep in. The victim services system offers lifesaving support and resources to countless survivors, but in many communities those systems lack the capacity to help all survivors with their housing needs. This toolkit is designed to boost the ability of homeless/housing programs to confidently offer housing services that are meaningful, safe, and grounded in best practices for a survivor population.