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Section IV: Privacy, Confidentiality, Data Security, and Assistive Technology

COMPETENCY STANDARD 4.1: The victim assistance provider uses information and technology in a manner that protects the privacy, security, and accessibility rights of victims/survivors.

Elements include the ability to:

  • Value the right to accessible, secure, confidential services for victims/survivors of crime.
  • Recognize which media are appropriate for victims’/survivors’ individual communication needs and comfort levels.
  • Describe laws, regulations, and ethical requirements pertaining to accessibility, privacy, and confidentiality of services; privileged communication; and mandated reporting.
  • Describe methods for enhancing the privacy and security of communications with victims/survivors, such as using written, time-limited confidentiality and client-release agreements; options for receiving phone calls with caller-ID blocked; de-identification of personally identifiable data; and regular updating of computer security software.
  • Understand the importance of securing clients’ personally identifiable information to reduce the risk of a data breach.
  • Describe multiple types of auxiliary aids and services that may be helpful to individuals with disabilities or specific needs (e.g., mobility devices, screen readers, telecommunication relay services), and the procedures for accessing these services.
  • When appropriate and safe to do so, apply strategies for building rapport with victims/survivors using a variety of media and electronic technologies, including cellular and smart phones, email, instant messaging or chat sessions, texting, and audio and video conferencing.
  • Understand organizational policies, laws, regulations, and ethical requirements regarding safeguarding, retaining, and destroying client records and personal information.

computer iconVAT Online is a free Web-based victim assistance training program that includes training modules on the topics of “Assessing Victim’s Needs,” “Referrals,” and “Collaboration.”