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Sexual Assault Communications Privilege Service

STOP. THINK. PROTECT.

Poster - 'her privacy is your priority

Who are we

The Sexual Assault Communications Privilege Service (SACPS) is a victims' legal service that helps protect the privacy  of counselling notes and other confidential therapeutic records in criminal proceedings involving sexual offences. We support sexual assault victims to claim the privilege when their confidential records are subpoenaed. 

Our service aims to protect confidential counselling and therapeutic relationships. We recognise that disclosure of private records causes further trauma to a victim if that information is revealed to the accused or in a public court room. We believe that stopping the disclosure of these records will encourage the reporting and prosecution of sexual assaults.

Who we help

We provide legal advice and representation to victims of sexual assault and other "protected confiders" who want to prevent or restrict the disclosure of sensitive sexual assault communications in court. We also assist complainants who wish to consent to the release of private documents in an informed way.

Our service is statewide.

How we can help

Advice and Assistance

We refer most of our clients to private lawyers, including regional lawyers, who have received special training in privilege matters. The role of our lawyers is quite unique. They speak only on behalf of the complainant. Usually they will oppose the defence, but sometimes they will oppose the prosecution. They can also guide the court on the operation of the privilege and the complainant's right to privacy.

Subpoena Survival Guide

SACPS has published the "Subpoena Survival Guide" pdf (pdf 1.2MB) together with the Women’s Legal Service NSW. The Guide assists counsellors and other professionals by explaining what to do when a court wants confidential client information.

Education

We provide education and training to the legal profession, police, sexual assault counsellors, medical records staff and other health professionals to promote awareness of the privilege. Our message is STOP. THINK. PROTECT before you obtain or release sensitive sexual assault communications.

Contact us

Client referrals and enquiries: sacps@legalaid.nsw.gov.au. Phone: 9219 5888.

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