If you choose to seek assistance from a family violence service, or are obliged to engage with a statutory agency, you maintain certain rights and there is certain legislation in place to protect you and your children. These include:
- Freedom of Information- Your right to request access to documents and ask for your personal information to be amended if it is incorrect or misleading.
- Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014- Your information which is held by a Victorian Public Sector must adhere to the Information Privacy Principles.
- Child Safe Standards- Organisations within the Victorian Public Sector must comply with the Child Safe Standards to protect children and young people.
- Equal Opportunity Act 2010- Organisations in the Victorian Public Sector have a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation as far as possible.
- Health Records Act- Organisations have a duty to use and collect your information for its intended purpose.
Victorian Public Sector Agencies are legally obliged to comply with the above legislation and there are Commissioners who monitor their adherence and who provide resources. You can contact a Commissioner if you feel the service you have been working with has breached their obligations.
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner oversees the Victorian Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
The Acts applies to all Victorian public sector agencies and Ministers including government departments, local councils, public hospitals and health services, public schools, universities, TAFE institutes, and statutory authorities.
Their website allows you to make complaints, download resources and find more information.
The Commission for Children and Young People monitors:
- Youth Justice
- Out of Home Care and Child Protection
- Preventative Detention
They also support the 11 Child Safe Standards which apply to all Victorian Public Service Organisations.
The Commission for Children and Young People website allows you to:
- Report a concern or allegation
- Download resources
- Become involved as a young person and share your story
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission can assist you to understand your rights relating to:
- Disability Rights
- Employee and Workplace Rights
- First Nations People’s Rights
- LGBTIQ Rights
- Older People’s Rights
- Racial and Religious Rights
- Women’s Rights
- Youth Rights
When you access services through a family violence agency, they are subject to the Equal Opportunity Act, which outlines how organisations which provide goods, services, accommodation or healthcare have a responsibility to ensure they provide service without discrimination. They also have a responsibility to make sure their premises and services are safe and free from sexual harassment or victimisation.
You can also make a complaint and download resources from their website.
The Health Complaints Commissioner oversees the Health Records Act. Health service providers such as hospitals and dentists, and organisations such as schools, gyms, insurers, employers and government agencies, all collect and hold personal and health information as health records.
Health information should be collected with your consent and used or disclosed for the primary purpose it was collected, or for a directly related and reasonable secondary purpose.
The Health Complaints Commissioner allows you to make complaints if you believe your information has been misused.