The Safe Steps Support Service connects people experiencing or afraid of family violence with a family violence specialist via phone, email or online chat (Support Service).

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.

More information about Safe Steps’ privacy practices is available in our Privacy Policy.

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

We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information so we can:

  • provide you with the Support Service by phone, email and online chat; and
  • for internal administrative purposes.

2. How do we collect your personal information?

We collect personal information from you when we support you by phone, email or online chat.

We collect personal information directly from you, unless it is unreasonable or impractical to do so.

3. What personal information is collected?

Personal information collected may include the following:

  • Contact details such as:
    • your name;
    • date of birth;
    • mobile phone number, home, postal and email address; and
    • method of contact (such as text before call) and 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 choose to provide us with sensitive information about your health, you consent to us collecting, using and disclosing that information to provide you with support, unless you tell us otherwise.

You may use the Support Service anonymously or by using a fake name (that is, a pseudonym) when you call, email or chat online with us.  However, not all aspects of the Support Service can be provided anonymously or by using a fake name.

4. What is your personal information used for?

Your personal information is used by us to support you and to meet legal obligations (for example, we are required to share risk information under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and Child Information Sharing Scheme using the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework in accordance with the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)).

Your health information (which is a subset of personal information and also known as sensitive information) will only be used by us with your consent, wherever practical.

For example:

  • if you choose to provide personal information, it may be used to provide you with online or telephone support services or to respond to your enquiries; and
  • if you contact the Support Service online via the chat online option, we will keep a transcript or record of the chat interaction to help the Support Service to be improved (if you do not want the transcript to be kept, you can tell the specialist who interacts with you online).

Your personal information may be de-identified and aggregated by us for the purposes of analysing and developing the Support Service. De-identified information may also be used in academic articles, in presentations and shared with research partners.

5. Who is your personal information disclosed 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).

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.

The circumstances in which we may disclose your personal information to recipients located overseas is set out in our Privacy Policy.

6. Security of personal information

We are committed to ensuring that the personal information you provide remains secure.

7. 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 Collection Statement and our Privacy Policy.

8. Where can you get more information about our privacy practices?

More information about our privacy practices is available in our Privacy Policy.

You can also ask your support person if you have any questions about your privacy or would like a copy of our Privacy Policy.

9. Changes to this Privacy Collection Statement

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

This Privacy Collection Statement was last reviewed and updated on 28 February 2023.

10. Who are we?

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

11. 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