Privacy Policy

DVassist (‘we’, ‘our’, ‘us’, also known as Breaking the Silence Limited (ABN 80 392 422 300) trading as DVassist) recognise the importance of protecting the privacy and the rights of individuals in relation to their personal information. This page is our privacy policy and it tells you how we collect, use and manage your personal information, and how you can contact us should you need to make enquiries, provide us with updates or to make a complaint.

We respect your rights to privacy under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) and we comply with all of the Act’s requirements in respect of the collection, use and management of your personal information.

What is your personal information?

When used in this privacy policy, the term “personal information” has the meaning given to it in the Act. In general terms, it is any information that can be used to personally identify you. This may include your name, address, telephone number, email address and profession or occupation. If the information we collect personally identifies you, or you are reasonably identifiable from it, the information will be considered personal information.

In some circumstances, we may collect “sensitive information” from you where this information is required to provide you with particular advice or services tailored to your circumstances.  Our use of sensitive information has the same meaning as in the Act.  Generally, the only sensitive information we may collect from you will relate to your family and domestic violence circumstances, mental health and wellbeing, and if relevant, your race or ethnic background, your religion, your sexual orientation or practices or your criminal record, which we may require from time to time in order to provide you with our service and advice.  We will only collect your sensitive information with your consent and we will not use or disclose your sensitive information for any other purpose without your express consent, except in exceptional circumstances (such as a threat to the safety or life of a person or the public, or if harm to a child/intent to harm a child has been disclosed – in line with the Child Protection Policy).

What personal information do we collect and hold?

We may collect the following types of personal information:

  • name;
  • mailing or street address;
  • email address;
  • telephone number;
  • facsimile number;
  • age or birth date;
  • profession, occupation or job title;
  • any additional information relating to you that you provide to us directly through our website or indirectly through use of our website or online presence, through our representatives or otherwise; and
  • information you provide to us through our help centre, including on the telephone or via web chat, customer surveys or visits by our representatives from time to time.

How do we collect your personal information?

We collect your personal information and sensitive information directly from you unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. When collecting personal information from you, we may collect it in ways including:

  • through your access and use of our website;
  • during conversations between you and our representatives either on the telephone through the DVassist Counselling Helpline, the DVassist WebChat service or in person; or
  • when you provide us with personal information through any other means.

DVassist WebChat

DVassist also provides the DVassist WebChat service (WebChat Service).  If you use the DVassist WebChat service, DVassist may provide help and support by connecting you with our counsellors online.  You may use this WebChat Service anonymously or with a pseudonym, or you may wish to provide us with your personal information.  Any information you do share with us, including any chat histories, will be collected and kept confidentially by us, for the purposes of quality and training purposes and only for a period of 3 months from the date you used the WebChat Service.  The WebChat Service is provided through the cloud, meaning that any information you share with us may be stored in a location outside of Australia, however, we will ensure that your personal information and chat history will be kept and stored by us here in Australia.  In providing this WebChat Service, we have engaged a cloud service provider, LiveChat Inc., who may also access, store and use any information you share with us through this WebChat Service, but only for the purposes of providing this WebChat Service, and in compliance with E.U. privacy laws (the GDPR), which reflect Australian privacy laws.

What happens if we can’t collect your personal information?

If you wish to do so, you may remain anonymous or use a pseudonym when you deal with us.  However, if it becomes impractical or unreasonable for us to provide you with our services, we may request that you identify yourself if you wish to continue receiving our services.

If you do not provide us with the personal information or sensitive information described above, some or all of the following may happen we may not be able to provide you with our services or any advice or information you have requested, either to the same standard or at all.

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

We collect personal information about you so that we can perform our organisational activities and functions and to provide best possible quality of service.

We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information and sensitive information for the following purposes:

  • if you decide to use our services (such as our DVassist WebChat service or Counselling Helpline, to provide you with our services, information, advice and support;
  • to respond to your queries;
  • to assess the performance of the website and to improve the operation of the website;
  • to conduct DVassist’s organisational functions including providing personal information to contractors, service providers or other third parties, including to provide any updated information;
  • for the administrative, planning, service development, quality control and research purposes of DVassist, its contractors or service providers, and to update our records and keep your contact details up to date;
  • to process and respond to any complaint made by you; and
  • to comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in co-operation with any governmental authority of any country.

Your personal information will not be shared, sold, rented or disclosed other than as described in this Privacy Policy.  We will not use your information (including your personal information and sensitive information) for direct marketing purposes.

We may also disclose your personal information or sensitive information to:

  • our employees, contractors or service providers for the purposes of operation of our website, our services or our business, fulfilling requests by you, and to otherwise provide information to you including, without limitation, web hosting providers, IT systems administrators, mailing houses, couriers, data entry service providers, electronic network administrators and professional advisors such as accountants, solicitors, business advisors and consultants; and
  • any organisation for any authorised purpose with your express consent.

How can you access and correct your personal information?

You may request access to any personal information we hold about you at any time by contacting us (see the details below). Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will try to provide you with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by mailing or emailing it to you).

There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to the personal information we hold. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality. If that happens, we will give you written reasons for any refusal.

If you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may ask us to amend it. We will consider if the information requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment then we will add a note to the personal information stating that you disagree with it.

Do we disclose your personal information to anyone outside Australia?

In some cases, we may disclose personal information and sensitive information to third party suppliers and service providers located overseas for some of the purposes listed above, including to our data hosting provider and cloud server provider (including for the DVassist WebChat service) located in the United States of America.  We will only do so to the extent required to support the provision of our services to you.

We take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipients of your personal information will apply the same standards and privacy obligations which apply in Australia to keep your personal information and sensitive information confidential and secure, and to ensure that they do not breach the privacy obligations relating to your personal information.


We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information and sensitive information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Our board members, officers, employees, subcontractors and volunteers are required to agree to confidentiality obligations and comply with our internal policies and guidelines in relation to handling personal information.  We may hold your information in either electronic or hard copy form. Personal information is destroyed or de-identified when no longer needed.

As our website is linked to the internet, and the internet is inherently insecure, we cannot provide any assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us online. We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the internet. Accordingly, any personal information or other information which you transmit to us online is transmitted at your own risk.


Our website may contain links to other websites operated by third parties. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the privacy practices of any third party website and we are not responsible for the privacy policies or the content of any third party website. Third party websites are responsible for informing you about their own privacy practices.

Contacting us and making complaints

If you have any questions about this privacy policy, any concerns or a complaint regarding the treatment of your privacy or a possible breach of your privacy, please contact us via our website or contact our Privacy Officer using the details set out below.

If you believe that your privacy has been breached, please contact our Privacy Officer using the contact information below and provide details of the incident so that we can investigate it. We request that complaints about breaches of privacy be made in writing, so we can be sure about the details of the complaint.

We will attempt to confirm with you, as appropriate and necessary, your understanding of the conduct relevant to the complaint and what you expect as an outcome. We will inform you whether we will conduct an investigation, the name, title, and contact details of the investigating officer and the estimated completion date for the investigation process.

After we have completed our enquiries, we will contact you, usually in writing, to advise you of the outcome and to invite a response to our conclusions about the complaint. If we receive a response from you, we will assess it and advise if we have changed our view.

We will treat your requests or complaints confidentially. Our representative will contact you within a reasonable time after receipt of your complaint to discuss your concerns and outline options regarding how your complaint may be resolved. We will aim to ensure that your complaint is resolved in a timely and appropriate manner.

Please contact our Privacy Officer at:

Privacy Officer
Post: PO Box 8130 Subiaco East WA 6008

Changes to our privacy policy

We may change this privacy policy from time to time. Any updated version of this privacy policy will be posted on our website. Please review it regularly.

This privacy policy was last updated on 30th July 2021


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