If I talk to a sexual assault advocate about what happened to me, will that information be shared in court?
Louisiana law says that an advocate from a sexual assault center that is “established and accredited in accordance with the standards set by the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault” cannot share the information you tell them; any communications that an advocate has with you while s/he is providing you with services are considered “privileged.” When a communication is privileged, that means that there is generally not a requirement to reveal it in court through testimony or to produce any records or documents related to that privileged communication in a civil or criminal proceeding.1
If the offender’s lawyer tries to get information from the advocate by sending a subpoena, both you and the advocate have the right to tell the judge the information is “privileged” and should not be revealed. It is often best to have a lawyer when trying to fight against (“quash”) a subpoena. For legal referrals, go to our LA Finding a Lawyer page.
1 LA R.S. § 46:2187(A)(1), (A)(2), (B)