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Open Records

Nearly every state has its own version of the Freedom of Information Act, some of which are referred to as open records, open meetings, open government, or sunshine laws. The laws may contain exemptions to disclosure that a victim may want to protect (e.g., exemptions specific to certain classes of victims, such as victims of sexual violence or minors).21 For example, Florida law requires that certain sex offense information remain confidential as long as the following conditions are met:22

  • The victim is not already known in the community.
  • The victim has not voluntarily called public attention to the offense.
  • The victim's identity has not otherwise become a reasonable subject of public concern.
  • Disclosure would endanger the victim, cause mental or emotional harm, make the victim reluctant to testify, or otherwise be inappropriate.
Kentucky's Open Records Act

Kentucky's Open Records Act allows the public to monitor how government agencies fulfill their duties. However, the ruling in In re: Courier-Journal/Crime Victims Compensation Board (03-ORD-153) held that the Crime Victims Compensation Board may refuse to disclose detailed information from certain police reports, sexual assault examination reports, and medical records related to a victim's post-assault suicide attempt, and acknowledged that "information is no less private simply because that information is available someplace."

Source: Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Responding to Sexual Violence: A Guide for Professionals in the Commonwealth, 2007.