This is not legal advice.

This resource page was assembled by OCADSV staff for informational purposes only. The information presented on this page is not intended to be legal advice, nor does it substitute for legal advice. If you have any questions about this law and its protections, contact a qualified attorney.

Overview

As of October 1st, 2015, certain information shared between certified advocates and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking is protected under Oregon state law. 

According to Oregon Revised Statutes § 40.264 (2015) and Oregon Administrative Rules 137-085, advocates are only considered to be "certified" and have legally privileged status and protections in their communications with victims if they:

  1. have completed at least forty (40) hours of training in advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that meets the minimum training requirements set out in OAR 137-085-0080; AND
  2. are a current employee of or a volunteer with a qualified community- or campus-based advocacy program.

Communications with victim assistance programs that are managed by law enforcement agencies or district attorney's offices ARE NOT considered protected under this law.

Legal definitions

"Certified advocate" means a person who:

(A) Has completed at least 40 hours of training in advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, approved by the Attorney General by rule; AND [editor's emphasis]

(B) Is an employee or a volunteer of a qualified victim services program.

Source: Or. Rev. Stat. § 40.264 (2015).

Confidential communication” means a written or oral communication that is not intended for further disclosure, except to:

      (A) Persons present at the time the communication is made who are present to further the interests of the victim in the course of seeking safety planning, counseling, support or advocacy services;

      (B) Persons reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication; or

      (C) Other persons, in the context of group counseling.

Source: Or. Rev. Stat. § 40.264 (2015).

Qualified victim services program” means:

(A) A nongovernmental, nonprofit, community-based program receiving moneys [sic] administered by the state Department of Human Services or the Oregon or United States Department of Justice that offers safety planning, counseling, support or advocacy services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; or

(B) A sexual assault center, victim advocacy office, women’s center, student affairs center, health center or other program providing safety planning, counseling, support or advocacy services to victims that is on the campus of or affiliated with a two- or four-year post-secondary institution that enrolls one or more students who receive an Oregon Opportunity Grant.

Source: Or. Rev. Stat. § 40.264 (2015).

Victim” means a person seeking safety planning, counseling, support or advocacy services related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking at a qualified victims [sic] services program.

Source: Or. Rev. Stat. § 40.264 (2015).