1. Introduction

Safe Steps is committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring that your personal information remains secure. We are required to comply with the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and other relevant state laws.

When used in this Privacy Policy, “personal information” has the meaning in the Privacy Act, that is, any information or an opinion that could be used to identify you, such as your name, address or telephone number. Health information is a subset of personal information (and is also known as sensitive information).

This Privacy Policy describes how we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information and should be read together with our website Disclaimer.

By accessing the Safe Steps website or otherwise providing your personal information to us, you indicate your acceptance of this Privacy Policy and our Privacy Collection Statements (as amended from time to time).

2. How do we collect your personal information?

We collect personal information directly from you, unless it is unreasonable or impractical to do so. We may collect your personal information in various ways including if you:

  • Contact us for support via phone, email or online chat;
  • Register for face-to-face or digital events (such as webinars);
  • Donate to us or donate gift cards or contact us about making a bequest in your will;
  • Hold a fundraising event;
  • Participate in public or closed surveys, questionnaires or conference events;
  • Apply to work with us either as an employee, contractor or volunteer;
  • Work for an organisation that partners with us (for example, referral agencies or legal representatives); or
  • Interact with us online including via our website or social media networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or LinkedIn) – the social network providers will also handle your personal information for their own purposes and have their own privacy policies.

Where possible, you have the option of interacting with us anonymously (for example, as a visitor of the website) or using a fake name (that is, a pseudonym) if you feel more comfortable dealing with us that way. For example, if you contact us directly by telephone with a general question, we will not ask for your full name unless we need it to answer your question.

3. For what purposes do we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information?

We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:

  • To provide services to you and respond to enquiries;
  • To contact you about our events, programs, campaigns or activities;
  • For marketing and research purposes of Safe Steps, its contractors or service providers;
  • To understand how you interact with us by recording information about you in a Customer Relationship Management system (for example, that you are a volunteer and a donor if that is the case);
  • To process donations made to us and show your name and the amount of any donation or sponsorship you make on our website or Annual Report (unless you choose to make a private or anonymous donation);
  • To audit and manage our website;
  • For internal administration purposes;
  • To process applications to work with us as an employee, contractor or volunteer;
  • To meet legal and other regulatory obligations imposed on us (for example, sharing risk information under the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework in accordance with the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic));
  • To update our records and to keep your contact details up to date;
  • To process and respond to any complaints made by you; and
  • To comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a court, regulator or other government authority.

4. What personal information do we collect?

The personal information we collect about you depends on the nature of your interaction(s) with us.

If you are seeking support, we may collect:

  • Contact details such as:
    • your name;
    • date of birth;
    • mobile phone number, home, postal and email address;
    • your preferred method of contact (such as texting before calling) and noting the time it may be safe to make contact.
  • Your communication needs including interpreters or other communication aids.
  • Support person, advocate or next of kin/emergency contact details and the relationship of that person to you.
  • Information about your:
    • family members;
    • health;
    • cultural identity and diversity;
    • current housing status;
    • income;
    • details and any relevant information around the circumstances of the person using violence;
    • family violence risks, protective factors, risks and needs of your children or young people coming into or in our service; and
    • support needs.
  • Information to inform a safety plan.
  • Information about the crimes perpetrated against you.
  • Information about Child Protection involvement.

If you donate to us, we may collect:

  • Contact details such as:
    • your name;
    • date of birth;
    • mobile phone number, home, postal and email address.
  • Your relationship to other donors including corporate and individual.
  • Payment details (but only to process your payment – we do not store your credit card details).
  • Previous donation history or the amount you have donated.

If you are seeking to work with us as a volunteer, employee or contractor, we may collect:

  • Contact details such as:
    • your name;
    • date of birth;
    • mobile phone number, home, postal and email address.
  • Professional details (e.g., previous employer or business name, job title/occupation, previous employment information).
  • Medical history (e.g., vaccination status or any allergies or other conditions that help us ensure you are safe at work).
  • Financial information (e.g Tax File Number, bank details and superannuation details).

If you are a visitor to our website, we may collect:

  • Information about the computer equipment and the version of the operating system you are using.
  • Whether you have used a desktop or phone device.
  • How long you stay on a page.
  • Browsing path information.
  • Exit page information.
  • The settings of the device you use to visit our website.

5. Who do we disclose your personal information to?

We will only use or disclose your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy, unless you have consented to the additional use or disclosure, or where:

  • Disclosure is necessary to prevent injury to life or health;
  • To investigate any suspected unlawful activity; or
  • Where the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under an Australian law or a court/tribunal order (including by an enforcement body) – for example, disclosures required under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic).

We will never sell your personal information to other parties.

In addition, your personal information may be provided to third parties where services relating to the purpose for which the personal information is collected are outsourced. For example, we may disclose your personal information to our:

  • Third-party service providers and contractors in connection with the services we provide to you (for example, IT service providers and marketing service providers); and
  • Professional advisors (for example, accountants, auditors and lawyers).

In these situations, we place obligations on our third-party service providers and contractors in relation to the security of your personal information.

We only disclose your health information for the purposes for which you gave it to us or for a directly related purpose you would reasonably expect or agree to.

Safe Steps and our third-party service providers may transfer, process and store your personal information outside of Australia, including in the United States. When we transfer your information outside of Australia, we take steps to protect it.

6. Security

We may hold your information in hard copy or electronic form.

We take reasonable steps to ensure the security of all information we collect, including that the information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. For example, your electronic personal information is maintained in a secure environment, which can be accessed only by authorised personnel.

In addition, we take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify your personal information once we no longer need it or have been directly instructed by you to permanently remove or suppress your personal information.

7. Safe Steps Website

Safe Steps does not collect personal information when individuals simply browse the Safe Steps website.

When an individual accesses the Safe Steps website, a non-identifying record is made of the visit and Safe Steps logs the following information for statistical data collection purposes:

  • The individual’s server address
  • The individual’s top-level domain name (e.g. .com, .org, au)
  • The pages the individual accessed, and documents downloaded
  • The previous site the individual visited
  • The type of browser being used

Safe Steps does not identify users or their browsing activities except, in the event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect server logs.


Cookies are information that a website transfers to your computer’s hard disk for record-keeping purposes. The cookies simply operate as a unique identifier, which helps Safe Steps to know what its website users find interesting and useful. Data collected from the website user does not identify the user, allowing them to remain anonymous.

Most web browsers are set to accept cookies however, individuals who do not wish to receive any cookies may set their browser to refuse them. In some instances, this will mean that they will not be able to take full advantage of parts of the website that provides them with improved service.

When an individual closes their browser the session cookie set by the Safe Steps website is destroyed and no personal information is maintained which might identify an individual should they visit the website at a later date.

Google Analytics

Our website uses Google Analytics, a product provided by Google, to help us understand traffic and usage in order to help improve our services, programs, content and resources.

Google Analytics does not identify individual users or associate your device’s Internet Protocol address (IP address) with any other data held by Google.

By using our website, you consent to the processing of information about you by Google in the manner described in Google’s Privacy Policy and for the purposes set out above. You can opt out of Google Analytics if you disable or refuse the Google cookie, disable JavaScript, or use the opt-out service provided by Google.

8. Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme

In the event of any unauthorised access, unauthorised disclosure or loss of your personal information that is likely to result in serious harm to you, we will investigate and notify you and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner in accordance with the Privacy Act.

9. Accessing and correcting your personal information

You may request access to your personal information collected by us and ask that we correct that personal information, for example, if your name has changed.

You can ask for access to personal information held by us by emailing or writing to our Privacy Officer (contact details below). Proof of identification will be required in order to access personal information.

We will usually respond within 30 days. If we refuse to give you access to, or correct your personal information, we will notify you in writing setting out the reasons.

10. Complaints about your privacy

If you believe your privacy has been breached or if you have a complaint about how we have handled your personal information, please contact us in writing. We will respond within a reasonable period (usually within 30 days from lodgement).

If you are not satisfied with our response, you may lodge a formal complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

11. Children Under the Age of 16

We understand the importance of protecting the privacy of children, especially in an online environment, which is why our website is not designed for or directed at children under 16.

12. Sharing information about another person

If you want to share personal information about another person, please get their consent first (if possible) and let them know about this Privacy Policy.

13. Changes to this Policy

This Policy may change from time to time. Any updated versions of this Policy will be posted on our website and will be effective from the date of posting.

This Policy was last reviewed and updated on 28 February 2023.

14. Who are we?

In this Privacy Policy, references to “Safe Steps”, “we”, “our” or “us” are references to Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre Inc (ABN 86 138 521 643).

15. How to contact us

Email: privacyofficer@safesteps.org.au

Attention: The Privacy Officer, Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre
GPO Box 4396
Melbourne VIC 3001