Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Confidentiality of Statements Made to Rape Crisis Personnel

Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 110, sec. 8-802.1; 735 ILCS 5/8-802.1
For more information contact:  
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault,
123 S. 7th St., Ste. 500, Springfield, IL 62701-1302
(217) 753-4117

(a) Purpose. This Section is intended to protect victims of rape from public disclosure of statements they make in confidence to counselors of organizations established to help them. On or after July 1, 1984, "rape" means an act of forced sexual penetration or sexual conduct, as defined in Section 12-12 of the Criminal Code of 1961, as amended, including acts prohibited under Sections 12-13 through 12-16 of the Criminal Code of 1961, as amended. Because of the fear and stigma that often results from those crimes, many victims hesitate to seek help even where it is available at no cost to them. As a result they not only fail to receive needed medical care and emergency counseling, but may lack the psychological support necessary to report the crime and aid police in preventing future crimes.

(b) Definitions. As used in this Act:
  1. "Rape crisis Organization" means any organization or association the major purpose of which is providing information, counseling, and psychological support to victims of any or al of the crimes of aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, sexual relations between siblings, criminal sexual abuse and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

  2. "Rape crisis counselor" means a person who is a psychologist, social worker, employee, or volunteer in any organization or association defined as a rape crisis organization under this Section, who has undergone 40 hours of training and is under the control of a direct services supervisor of a rape crisis organization.

  3. "Victim" means a person who is the subject of, or who seeks information, counseling, or advocacy services as a result of an aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, sexual relations within families, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a child, indecent solicitation of a child, public indecency, exploitation of a child, or an attempt to commit any of these offenses.

  4. "Confidential communication" means any communication between a victim and a rape crisis counseling in the course of providing information, counseling, and advocacy. The term includes all records kept by the counselor or by the organization in the course of providing services to an alleged victim concerning the alleged victim and the services provided.

(c) Waiver of privilege:
  1. The confidential nature of the communication is not waived by the presence of a third person who further expresses the interests of the victim at the time of the communication; group counseling; or disclosure to a third person with the consent of the victim when reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the counselor is consulted.

  2. The confidential nature of counseling records is not waived when: the victims inspects the records, or in the case of a minor child less than 12 years of age, a parent or guardian' whose interest are not adverse to the minor inspects the records; or in the case of a minor victim 12 years or older, a parent or guardian whose interests are not adverse to the minor inspects the records with the victim's consent.

  3. When a victim is deceased or has been adjudged incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, the victim's guardian or the executor or administrator of the victim's estate may waive the privilege established by this Section, unless the guardian, executor, or administrator has an interest adverse to the victim.

(d) Confidentiality. Except as provided in this Act, no rape crisis counselor shall disclose any confidential communication or be examined as a witness in any civil or criminal proceeding as to any confidential communication without the written consent of the victim or a representative of the victim as provided in subparagraph (e).

(e) A rape crisis counselor may disclose a confidential communication without the consent of the victim if failure to disclose is likely to result in a clear, imminent risk of serious physical injury or death of the victim or another person. Any rape crisis counselor or rape crisis organization participating in good faith in the disclosing of records and communications under the Act shall have immunity from any liability, civil, criminal or otherwise that might result from the action, In any proceeding, civil or criminal, arising out of a disclosure under the Section, the good faith of any rape crisis counselor or rape crisis organization who disclosed the confidential communication shall be presumed.

(f) Any rape crisis counselor who knowingly discloses any confidential communication in violation of the Act

Commits a Class C misdemeanor.

No comments: