Confidentiality and the need to keep what is disclosed as confidential is key to providing an environment that encourages congregants experiencing domestic abuse to come forward and seek pastoral help.
It is important that whatever is disclosed is kept secret (not even to be shared under the guise of prayer points) unless the person has said it can be shared or it is absolutely necessary. The principle of confidentiality is about privacy and respecting someone’s wishes.
However, remember the clause of confidentiality and that there are certain disclosures where the duty of Confidentiality has to be overridden.
Disclosures of child sexual abuse, Female Genital Mutilation, if there is a serious safeguarding concern and someone is at risk to mention a few, are all occasions where the information MUST be shared with the relevant authorities.
Keeping such information secret does not only enable the offender to continue but it puts the public at risk and is not a correct response to domestic abuse.
Remember to maintain the duty of Confidentiality but if there is a serious safeguarding concern and somebody is at risk, then you have a duty to share this information to keep people safe.
To learn more about Confidentiality and what must be reported, contact us.