Privacy Information

What information is collected and why?

Information is collected during your (or your child’s) visit to Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services to assist with your counselling / support.  For example, your age, recent sexual assault / domestic violence incident and previous history may all play a role in your current care, which is collected by a counsellor / advocate or support worker.

Other information collected and filed includes, for example, your name, address, gender, telephone number, main language spoken and the name of a contact person.  Collection is important as it helps the services put in place planned counselling / support.

Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services will update any information about you after each visit.  We aim to keep your information accurate and up-to-date at all times to make sure the best possible care / support can be provided.  Please let a staff member know or contacts us when your details, such as address or phone number changes.

Protecting your Privacy.

Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services protects privacy by keeping personal information secure from unauthorized access, use or loss.

As a service user you will have a record that is stored securely within the agency.  Information is also stored on computer systems.  Your information is accessed in the record and computer system by staff involved in your care / support.

All staff employed with Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services have a duty to protect the privacy of personal information.  Strict policies provide staff with guidelines for collection, use, release and disposal of personal information.  This includes controls on password allocation for accessing the agency’s computer systems.

How is the Information Used

Your information is sued by those involved with your care / support.  It may also be used within Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services for, planning, evaluation, and quality improvement.  When using your information for these activities, we remove details that identify you whenever possible.  These activities provide the opportunity for further funding and improvements in care / support that benefits the community at large.

Ethics at Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services provide strict guidelines for conducting research to ensure that client privacy is protected.  This is in accordance with the Department of Human Services policies which includes a requirement that information identifying an individual can only be released if the individual provides written consent.

What happens to Information?

Certain information relating to your visit may be forwarded to the Department of Human Services.  This information is summarized and does not identify you.  Rather than being used for personal support and care, the information is used for funding, planning and improving quality care.

In some circumstances Mallee Sexual Assault Unit and Mallee Domestic Violence Services is required by law to release information.  If a child is identified at risk of harm staff are mandated to report this to Department of Human Services Child Protection Unit.  Information may also be provided to a court or tribunal when subpoenaed.

We will only provide information to an agency or professional upon request and consent of the client.  This information provides an agency with a summary of your present situation on attendance to the sexual assault / domestic violence service.

Other agencies or professional staff that you visit may contact Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services to obtain information about you so that they can provide additional care / support in the best possible manner.

We would ask them to provide written authorization from you before releasing information to them.  In an emergency situation however, we will release information about you to facilitate your care.

Apart from what is described in this brochure, no personal identifiable information will be released without your prior written consent.  This includes any information submitted via the Mallee Sexual Assault Unit and Mallee Domestic Violence Services website http://www.msau-mdvs.org.au

Access to your Information

Workers working with you are the best source of information about your care and support.  speak to a staff member if you have any questions about your care / support.

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 sets out your right to access your medical record and personal information held by Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services.  If you would like to access the information collected about your care / support, ask your worker.  The request process may require you to complete an application.

If you identify information that is incorrect or you do not agree with, you have a right to request that it be amended.  Speak with your worker who will arrange this for you.

Need More Information?

If you have further questions or would like to request access to your information, contact the Mallee Sexual Assault Unit / Mallee Domestic Violence Services during business hours.