Data Protection and Privacy

What information we collect, why we collect it, how we use it, how we store it and how you can request to see it.

Privacy and data protection for service users

Who are we?
Torus/Helena Partnerships deliver the Safe2Speak Domestic Abuse Service within the borough of St Helens. Our Domestic Abuse Service offers support to any resident of St Helens who is a victim of domestic abuse, whether you are a Helena tenant, tenant of another housing provider, owner occupier, privately renting or homeless. We are dedicated to providing a free service that is confidential, supportive, informative and non- judgmental to those affected by domestic abuse in every form – sexual, physical, emotional, and financial.

What we ask of you:
Please help us to stay safe.  We ask that you respect the safety and confidentiality of our staff and other clients that you come into contact with, by not sharing information with others outside the organisation; this includes names, telephone numbers and locations of Safe2Speak services.

What information do we collect about you?
We collect information about you and your family as you work with Safe2Speak, this includes:

  • personal details about you, for example your age, your health, and safe way to contact you;
  • personal details about your children and the alleged perpetrator;
  • details about what is happening or has happened;
  • any risks that you or your family are experiencing;
  • information about anyone else supporting you

We also collect information when you voluntarily complete surveys and provide feedback on our services.

Why do we collect this information and how will we use it?

We collect information about you in order to support you and your family to stay safe.

  • There may be times when it is necessary for us to share information about you with other agencies.
  • The agencies that we usually share information with in these cases are the Police, Social services, or a Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
  • When this happens a Safe2Speak staff member will contact you to ask permission for the information to be shared – you have a right to say yes or no to this request.
  • If we have concerns for the safety or wellbeing of a child or vulnerable person, we may have to share information with relevant agencies without your consent.
  • When a Safe2Speak staff member considers you or your family to be at high risk of serious harm, they may share your information to try and keep you safe.  We will always try to discuss this with you as soon as we can, if it is safe to do so.
  • If you disclose a relevant incident to us which you have not disclosed to the police, we may have to share this at the MARAC meeting. This would not result in a police investigation without your support.
  • Depending on the circumstances, the MARAC team may make the decision to investigate without your consent. If you disclose to us any information about any illegal or offensive weapons which are accessible or terrorism we are obligated to let the police know.  We will endeavour to ensure that any risk to you or anyone else will be taken into consideration in this process.

We will also use this information to improve the service we offer you and others.

We might anonomise your story (remove any reference to you and your family) and share with other agencies and researchers outside the organisation.  This helps us:

  • to understand who is accessing our services;
  • to understand how the service is supporting all its clients;
  • to understand more about domestic violence and abuse; and
  • to find the best ways to improve the lives of people who are affected by domestic violence and abuse.

We share information in this way to ensure that the identity of you and your family will never be released.
We also share your anonymised data with the Local Authorities commissioning body, Community Safety, in order to support monitoring and research. You cannot be identified from this data. If you do not wish for your data to be shared, please let us know.

As part of our relationship we will record information about other people, e.g. the alleged perpetrator. Under the Data Protection Act they have the right to request to see information about themselves, but not about you.  In assessing these requests we seek to ensure the safety and security or you and your family.

How is your information stored?

Most information will be stored in a secure database which is held in a secure location. We do not hold paper files. We will keep your information for 6 years after you stop working with us, in case there are any problems.

How can you see the information we have collected?

You have a right to request to view or receive a copy of information that we hold about you. If you would like to make a request, please write to:

Helena Partnerships;
4 Corporation Street
St Helens
Merseyside WA9 1LD.

We want to make sure that information we hold is accurate and up to date.  You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate.

What do you do if you have any problems with our service?

Sometimes things do not go to plan.  If you have a problem or feel unhappy with any part of our service we ask that you contact us immediately.  You can do this informally through your Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) or their manager.  Or if you would prefer you can write to the manager of the service at:

Helena Partnerships
4 Corporation Street
St Helens
Merseyside WA9 1LD