What you need to know

We’d like to share some important information with you so that you can get the most out of our service and our support.

How we protect your privacy

As a client of Safe Steps your safety is our first priority. This means that any personal information you tell us is confidential and will only be shared with your consent. You can withdraw your consent at any point.

With your consent, we may share your information:

  • With other service providers that are legally allowed to receive that information because of their role in supporting the safety of you and your children
  • In order to advocate for your rights and refer you to other services, and
  • De-identified data (data which cannot be tracked back to an individual name or person) may be collected and used for research, advocacy or reports to funding bodies.

There are some circumstances in which we must share your information to advocate on your or your children’s behalf, even if you do not consent to us doing so, including:

  • If required by law, when information is subpoenaed by a Court
  • Where your information is relevant to the safety of a child, and
  • Where we identify a duty of care to ensure your safety and wellbeing, or the safety and wellbeing of another individual.

Where it is appropriate, safe and reasonable to do so, your views will always be sought over how and when your information is shared. Your information will not be shared with a perpetrator of family violence and it will be held securely. It is your right not to share information if you don’t want to, but the more you share with us the better we can support you.

If you are concerned about how we have collected or managed your personal information you can contact our Privacy Officer by emailing privacyofficer@safesteps.org.au or calling on (03) 9928 9600. If you’re not satisfied with how we have handled your privacy you can also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)

Your rights and what you can expect from us

At Safe Steps we are committed to helping women,children and all victim-survivors to live in safety, free from family violence. We value inclusivity and diversity and will do our best to provide you with services which are appropriate and sensitive to your needs.

We want you to know that whilst accessing our service you have a right to:

  • Be safe, heard and believed
  • Be treated with dignity, respect, sensitivity and understanding
  • Personal privacy & confidentiality
  • Be given information on different support options
  • Make your own choices and decisions
  • Access to your personal information
  • Involve an advocate of your choice
  • Complain about us without fear of being penalised.

We respect and acknowledge the distinct cultural rights of Aboriginal people, and will do our best to provide a service which upholds the rights of Aboriginal clients to:

  • enjoy identity and culture
  • maintain and use language
  • maintain kinship ties, and
  • maintain distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationship with the land and waters upon which we live and work.

We expect all clients to:

  • Treat safe steps workers with respect
  • Adhere to service guidelines, including the rules of your accommodation, and
  • Engage with us to manage your safety and plan your next steps.

For more information about rights and responsibilities you can read the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the Consumer Charter for Community Managed Housing and Homelessness Services.

How to provide feedback or make a complaint

We appreciate feedback and invite your compliments, complaints or suggestions for improvement.

Coming soon – Safe Steps is updating our website to make its complaints policy more accessible. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding our complaints processes – such as how the complaint will be dealt with, who is handling the complaint and when a response can be expected – please contact the Privacy Officer at: privacyofficer@safesteps.org.au

To provide feedback or make a complaint you can:

We will make all reasonable attempts to resolve your complaint and will inform you about the outcome. If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint you can ask your complaint to be reviewed. You can also contact the following organisations to have your complaint and any action we have taken reviewed: