Advocate Privilege Bill, HB 3476 Signed by Governor Kate Brown
Saving Grace is energized by the signing of HB 3476, also known as the Advocate Privilege Bill. This bill focuses on ensuring victims of domestic or sexual violence have access to confidential services. Confidentiality between a victim and a domestic or sexual violence advocate is critical to effective access to services and options for safety. Victims of these crimes suffer a whole range of emotional and psychological trauma.
“The right to privacy is particularly critical for victims in small communities, whether that is geographical such as rural areas or communities of interest such as college campuses. The passage of statutory victim-advocate privilege ensures that victims are free to seek services without fear of disclosure. It increases survivors’ safety, autonomy and healing,” said Janet Huerta, Saving Grace Executive Director.
It has been found that without assurances of confidentiality, victims may not seek help from support services. They may not disclose the true nature of abuse or assault, compromising their safety and undermining effective interventions and may stay in unsafe situations and suffer more abuse or assault.
Saving Grace has a very specific confidentiality policy in place and this bill allows for Saving Grace advocates to illustrate the significance of this policy to those that might ask advocates to share privileged information.