FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2017
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN, TX - Today, House Bill 3649 authored by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and by Representative Abel Herrero was sent to the Governor's Desk with overwhelming approval from the Texas Legislature. HB 3649 makes communication between a domestic violence victim and their communications with family violence center advocates confidential.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"Seeking lifesaving services should be safe and confidential. Thirty-nine states have some form of enhanced state-level victim information privacy protections for victims of domestic violence. However, Texas lacks strong legal protections for private conversations between domestic violence victims and their family violence advocates.
HB 3649 shields information that family violence survivors share with victim advocates from disclosure, ensuring they can seek assistance without fear that their personal stories will be used against them. As survivors leave abusive homes for the safety of their families and themselves, this bill makes sure the state provides protection as well."
Over 70,000 Texans seek services every year and each of them deserves to have their private information respected. Enhanced privacy and confidentiality stand as critical elements of fostering a therapeutic and effective environment for victims to seek help.