BEND, OR -- Bend-based Saving Grace is praising the state Legislature’s passage of a bill last month designed to protect the privacy of sex abuse victims. The so-called “Advocate Privilege Bill” provides confidentiality protections to domestic violence and assault victim programs.
Lauren DuBose says Saving Grace
already has strict confidentiality policies, but they weren’t protected by law, until now. "So if we did have an advocate called to testify, or someone is really prying for information, they can refer to this House Bill. So, it just really cements the fact that confidentiality is in place, and they can be sure of that."
DuBose says the law extends confidentiality similar to what is available for doctors, lawyers and clergy. Thanks to HB 3476, domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking victim service groups cannot be compelled to disclose information without the approval of the person seeking help. She says without that privacy guarantee, some victims are not willing to come forward and seek help.