This Privacy Notice is issued by Women’s Aid (Registered Charity Number 20012045) of 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2 (“Women’s Aid”, “we”, “our”).
Women’s Aid are committed to the prevention and elimination of violence and abuse of women and children. At Women’s Aid, we are committed to ensuring that personal data collected and processed, is treated lawfully and correctly and complies with the principles of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Controller (as defined in GDPR) of your personal data, for all purposes outlined in this Privacy Notice, is Women’s Aid. During the course of our work, we are required to collect and process personal information from many stakeholders, including; our service users, donors, training attendees. Information provided by you is held in strict confidence.
Our Privacy Notice will explain how our organisation uses the personal data we collect from you and includes the following information:
Women’s Aid is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of any linked sites.
If you are a woman availing of our direct face to face services, including our One to One Support Services (Outreach and Court Accompaniment) and High Risk Support Project, our staff will review the ‘Information and Confidentiality Notice’ with you during your initial meeting and prior to collecting Personal or Special Category Data:
The ‘Information and Confidentiality Notice’ informs you of:
Due to the nature of this service and the level of distress some women may be in on contact with this service, it may be difficult to provide this information to every woman. Therefore, we encourage you to read our ‘Information and Confidentiality Notice’' (click here). This Notice will also include the following information:
A woman who accesses Support and Referral Service (SRS) may decide not to avail of Women’s Aid ongoing services, we do not collect any identifiable information on women for this service unless we have child safeguarding concerns and are required to make a referral to Tusla, or a referral to a domestic abuse support service (See here for more information on confidentiality). However, we do endeavour to inform you of the following verbally at the start of any meeting:
Due to the nature of this service and the level of distress some women may be in on contact with this service. It is recognised that it may be difficult to provide this information to every woman. Therefore, we provide a link to the Information and Confidentiality Notice here (see here).
The SRS Information and Confidentiality Notice is also laminated on the walls of the waiting area and office of the SRS.
An exemption to the SRS collecting personal identifiable data is when we are making a referral to another domestic abuse service on your behalf/ referral to Women’s Aid Legal Clinic (see section below) or Women’s Aid Emergency and Legal Fund (See section below) or advocating on your behalf, for example, to the District Court.
As the service is anonymous and confidential, we do not hold any of your personal data in the SRS and immediately after the purpose of requiring the data has been achieved (for example, referral form sent), we delete all of your data from our emails and device and shred any paper copies of information.
Women’s Aid Support Services may at their discretion, refer a woman to our Emergency and Legal Fund. For this purpose, we will collect a woman’s personal data so that we can administer a grant from the fund. The Woman will be asked to provide her explicit consent for the collecting and processing of her personal information prior to funds being made available. Due to the nature of our crisis work, this consent is obtained verbally.
The Women’s Aid Legal Clinic is a voluntary and confidential service.
The Women’s Aid Legal Clinic is staffed by volunteer lawyers whose services are provided free of charge
You will be asked to provide your explicit consent to obtain specific personal data that is only used to be referred to the Legal Clinic. This will be obtained by signing a referral form to the clinic or by your Support Worker verbally obtaining your consent and information over the phone. Your Support Worker will then be asked to sign form to confirm they have obtained your explicit verbal consent.
Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline, including Instant Messaging Support Service and Text service for deaf or hard of hearing women, do not collect and record personal details. Where we collect and process limited data, such as gender, nature of abuse etc., this information is used for statistical reporting purposes and is shredded after six months.
We do not share your data with external providers except in the following circumstances:
Personal information collected and processed if you are attending the ‘Power To Change’ Programme, is used for attendance purposes and is kept safe, secure and confidential.
The following notice is for anyone who may contact Women’s Aid regarding a woman using our services:
Women's Aid takes the confidentiality of its service users very seriously and does not discuss any individual case to third parties without the explicit and freely given consent of a service user.
If you proactively contact us regarding the recipient of our service, we will inform the woman who avails of our service of this contact, providing it is in the interests of the woman to do so.
We may retain information about you from women availing of our services, but this information is recorded anonymously, and we only process the personal data of women who access and use our services. The exemption to this, is any referral made under child protection obligations to Tusla.
Due to the nature of Women’s Aid work, it is our policy to never investigate complaints made by third parties because of the possible risk to women who use our services. Please refer to our Feedback policy, available on our website www.womensaid.ie
“Personal data” is information that relates to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified from that information, for example, a person’s name, identification number, location, online identifier.
“Special categories of personal data” is data which relates to an individual’s health, sex life, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, political opinion, religion, and trade union membership. It also includes genetic and biometric data (where used for ID purposes).
“Criminal offence data” is data which relates to an individual’s criminal convictions and offences.
“Data processing” is any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
Data Protection legislation stipulates that data processing should be fair and transparent, for a specified and legitimate purpose and limited to the data necessary to fulfil this purpose. The legal bases on which Women’s Aid process your personal data may include one or more of the following legal grounds:
The Consent of the Individual:
When availing of our ‘face-to-face’ Services, Women’s Aid request that the woman issue her consent to processing personal data. Due to the crisis nature of our work, it may not be possible for Women’s Aid to obtain consent in certain situations and as such, we may rely on one of the other legal bases, outlined below, for processing personal data.
A woman can withdraw her consent at any time, please refer to the section ‘Exercising your Data Protection Rights’.
To carry out a task that is in the public interest:
In our work for justice and social change relating to domestic violence, Women’s Aid are required to report on the service provision to various state organisations and public authorities. We consider the provision of information to these organisations is in the public interest. To comply with reporting requirements, Women’s Aid Process data about clients and service provision; this data is completely anonymised, pseudonyms are used and identifying details are removed or changed to safeguard our service users. Where case studies are discussed, pseudonyms are used.
To Protect the Vital Interests of the Individual:
This is in emergency life or death situations. In a crisis situation, where there is risk of harm, Women’s Aid may be required to share information to prevent such harm.
For the organisation’s legitimate Interests:
For the purpose of our legitimate interests in providing our services in a responsible and effective manner and pursuing our social responsibility objectives. We will not process your personal data for these purposes if to do so would constitute unwarranted interference with your own interests, rights and freedoms.
For compliance with legal obligation to which Women’s Aid is subject.
Under the Children First Act 2015, Women’s Aid is required to report instances of child abuse and neglect. Please refer to Women’s Aid Child Protection Policy for more information and see below ‘Sharing Your Information With Third Parties’ (include link).
Depending on the service that we are providing to the woman, Women’s Aid may collect Special Category Data such as racial or ethnic origin, nationality and health. To satisfy the lawful basis for processing special category data, Women’s Aid meet the conditions set out in Data Protection Legislation. These conditions include:
To deliver an effective level of service, it is necessary for the organisation to record information deemed relevant to the Woman’s circumstances. We do not record personal information about women or third parties that is not deemed relevant, for example, data relating to criminal convictions such as shoplifting. An exception, however, is where there are implications for safety of women or staff and where this is the case, we may process personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences in accordance with section 55(1)(b) of the Data Protection Act.
To protect the security of all Personal Data, Women’s Aid have appropriate technical and organisational security measures in place. These include:
The National Freephone Helpline does not record or retain personal data exception in the following circumstances:
Women’s Aid do not record AKA names, such as spouses, partners and cohabitees names, on a woman’s files.
Where there is a concern regarding child safety, the AKA name is required for Tusla Child First referrals.
Women’s Aid acknowledges the general rule that personal information must be provided to anyone in relation to whom Women’s Aid holds Personal Data. However, due to the sensitive nature of our work, safeguarding a public interest and safety concerns for women and children, Women’s Aid are legally protected under the provisions of Data Protection Act 2018, to restrict access to this data.
We may disclose your personal data to other organisations including third parties who we engage to provide services, such as outsourced service providers, payment processors, IT services providers, professional advisers and auditors.
Under Data Protection Law, organisations may not transfer Personal Data outside the EEA to any country unless it is deemed by the European Commission to provide an adequate level of protection in relation to the processing of Personal Data. In general Women’s Aid do not transfer Personal Data outside the EEA. However, if there is a requirement, we ensure that this data is safeguarded in one of the following ways:
The information we collect and how we process your data will depend on your relationship with Women’s Aid.
Our Helpline workers are here to listen, and you can contact them by phone or online. If you would like to talk through some options, they will do that and may also refer you to local domestic violence support services or women’s refuge. Depending on your needs, the Helpline support team will provide a range of information on finance, housing, children, court orders and social welfare.
If your first language is not English and you would like to speak to us in your native language, we have Telephone Interpretation Service available in over 170 languages. This service is free and completely confidential.
We would like to reassure you that it is your choice if you wish to disclose information regarding the reason for your call or text.
Women’s aid National Freephone Helpline does not record or retain personal identifiable information.
What information you may wish to discuss during the call:
This online service is free, confidential, and secure. There may be times when you do not have the privacy to phone our Helpline or you may simply prefer to contact us online. This facility is currently available during specific days and times and provides you with an opportunity to contact Helpline support team online and instantaneously during this period.
We do not ask you for any personal identifiable information and would ask that you do not provide any information via the instant messaging service.
We will ask your age; if you are under 18 years, our Helpline support team will refer you to more suitable services that support minors.
What information you may wish to discuss during the session:
Our Helpline support team will reply to your text message on the mobile number you sent the text from.
We do not ask you for any personal identifiable information and would ask that you do not provide any information via the text service
We will ask your age; if you are under 18 years, our Helpline support team will refer you to more suitable services that support minors.
What information you may wish to discuss during the call:
The Power to Change Programme is a twelve-week programme to help empower survivors of domestic abuse in the following ways; to help develop personal boundaries and assertiveness skills, to value their self-worth and recognise their own potential, and; to ultimately live a more fulfilling life.
What information we will collect and process:
Your personal details will be used for details of your attendance.
Personal details provided by you will be stored securely and confidentially.
To provide you with support, understanding and information about domestic abuse services available. The Helpline Support Team may contact a third-party service, on your behalf and with your permission, for example, refuge accommodation, domestic violence support service/court accompaniment, An Gardaí Síochána, or Tusla.
Your experience helps to inform our communication and policy campaigns so that we can increase awareness of domestic abuse and advocate for improved support and services for victims.
The Helpline does not record your data, we do however log information for the purpose of collecting statistical information, for example; your relationship with the abuser (current or previous partner, husband, separated), the type of abuse you suffered (physical, sexual, financial, emotional), the number of children in your household.
Women’s Aid National Helpline do not record personal data. We do however, log information for the purposes of compiling statistical reports. This data is retained for six months.
If you are attending the Power to Change Programme, we will retain your data for a period of 12 months from the commencement date of the course.
We collect information about you and your family as you work with Women’s Aid, this includes:
We do collect personal information such as why you here today (e.g. information on legal orders) and your ethnicity but anonymously and we do not collect any identifiable information (unless we have child safeguarding concerns see (Include link to Annex 2 SRS Info & Confidentiality).).
If you agree to be referred to our Legal Clinic, you will be asked to complete a referral form with your support worker that asks the following:
This information with your first name only is then passed on with your permission to the law firm that we partner with on this project for the sole purposes of your use of the Law Clinic Services.
The following personal details will be recorded and issued to our Finance Department so that funds can processed:
We collect information about you in order to support you and your family to stay safe.
We use the information you provide us with to inform Women’s Aid on how our services might be improved or developed.
Your experience helps to inform our communications and policy campaigns so that we can increase awareness of domestic abuse and advocate for improved support and services for victims.
Anonymised information is shared with funders of our service.
Woman’s Aid Services Department will hold your data for a period of three years. If after that period of time, you are not in contact with our Services Department, we will shred your records. All child protection files that have been inactive after three years are also deleted.
We collect and process the following information:
Data is collected in one of the following ways:
To process donations which you make to Women’s Aid.
To respond to any queries that you have submitted to us via the website.
To improve and develop our website.
To provide you with details of our services and training events.
When you are making a financial donation to Women’s Aid, your personal contact details are entered into our fundraising database. Our Communications and Fundraising Department may be in contact with you from time to time to:
If any time you would like Women’s Aid to cease communication with you, this option is available on our website or you can contact the Communications and Fundraising Department on email@example.com.
Hard copies of all donations received via the Women’s Aid website and to the Women’s Aid office are held for 7 years. No credit card details are kept once donation is processed.
Your personal details will be registered on a list of training attendees for the course. This will include your name, organisation and job title. This list is used to confirm attendance for the training course.
Upon completion of the course, Women’s Aid will issue a certificate listing the course attended, your name and the course date.
Inform you of upcoming training events.
The Training Administrator files a hard copy of the training application form in our files. These are maintained for a period of 3 years from the date of the training course.
Technical details in connection with visits to this website are logged for our statistical purposes. When you visit our website, the following information is retained about that visit:
Women's Aid will make no attempt to identify individual visitors, or to associate the technical details listed above with any individual. This information is used to allow us improve the information we are supplying to our users, find out how many people are visiting our sites and for statistical purposes. Some of the above information is used to create summary statistics which allow us to assess the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, discover what information is most and least used, inform us on future design and layout specifications, and help us make our site more user friendly.
Data Protection Legislation imposes obligations on organisations in relation to the control and processing of your data. Under GDPR you have the following rights:
For further detailed information about your data protection rights please visit the website www.dataprotection.ie
Every individual residing in the EU have the right to have their personal information protected, used in a fair and legal way and made available to them upon request. You have the right to view the information held about you. If the information held is inaccurate or needs to be rectified, for example change of address, then you are entitled to have the information updated. You also have the right to have your information erased should you so wish. If you wish to exercise your data protection rights, you can talk to your Support Worker or see our procedure for Data Access Requests.
Please note Woman’s Aid Services Department will only hold your data for a period of three years. If after that period of time, you are not in contact with our Services Department, we will shred your records.
Due to the nature of Personal Data held by the organisation and in keeping with our mission to safeguard women, Women’s Aid stipulate that the requester make a formal request in writing. If you wish to exercise your Data Protection Rights you can contact Women’s Aid by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Services manager, 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2.
You will be required to include the following details with your request to ensure Women’s Aid can accurately identify the appropriate records
Due to the sensitive nature of our services and the importance of confidentiality, the woman will be required to verify her identity in person to access the information requested. The following verification documents are required and must be dated within the previous 3 months:
Upon receipt of your request, Women’s Aid will contact you to make an appointment for verification purposes within 2 to 3 weeks from the date your request was received. Within 30 calendar days from the date we verify your identity, Women’s Aid will provide you with the information requested. However, where requests are complex or numerous, Women’s Aid may extend the period of compliance by a further two months.
Data access requests are free of charge. However, we will charge a ‘reasonable fee’ when the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive. We may also charge a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. This fee is based on the administrative cost of providing the information.
If you are concerned with how your data is being collected, processed or stored or if your rights about your data are not adhered to by an organisation, you can contact the Data Protection Commissioner online or by post as follows:
Post: Data Protection Commission, 21 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28, Ireland.
You should include the following details:
Women’s Aid may occasionally update our Privacy Notice. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Notice for the latest information on our privacy practices.