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Overview of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme

The information in this image is described in the text below.

This figure represents an overview of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme. In the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, organisations that are prescribed by regulations are information sharing entities (ISEs), and are authorised to share information. They are authorised to share relevant information about a person (including adults and children) who is a victim survivor, perpetrator or third party, for the purpose of establishing and assessing risk, and for managing risk. They can share information voluntarily with other ISEs, as well as in response to a request for information from another ISE.

Under this scheme, excluded information cannot be shared. For example: if sharing the information might endanger a person's life or result in physical injury, prejudice legal proceedings, a police investigation or coronial inquiry, contravene a court order, or if the information is subject to legal professional privilege.

ISEs cannot share information that would contravene another law that has not been specifically overridden by the scheme.

The consent requirements under the scheme are as follows:

  • When sharing information about an adult victim – who is a person an ISE reasonably believes that there is a risk that person may be subjected to family violence – consent is required from the adult victim survivor prior to sharing their information unless there is a serious threat or if information relates to assessing or managing a risk to a child victim survivor.
  • When sharing information about a child victim – who is a person an ISE reasonably believes that there is a risk that person (under the age of 18 years) may be subjected to family violence – no consent is required from any person if their information is relevant to establishing, assessing or managing risk of family violence to a child victim.
  • When sharing information about a perpetrator – who is a person an ISE reasonably believes there is a risk they may commit family violence – no consent us required from the perpetrator prior to sharing their information to assess or manage risk of committing family violence.
  • When sharing information about an alleged perpetrator – who is a person alleged to pose a risk of family violence – no consent is required from the alleged perpetrator prior to sharing their information to establish or assess risk of committing family violence. Information about an alleged perpetrator can only be shared in the risk assessment phase.
  • When sharing information about a third party – who is a person whose information is relevant to assessing or managing a risk of family violence – consent is required from the third party prior to sharing their information unless there is a serious threat or if information relates to assessing or managing a risk to a child victim survivor.

Under the scheme, all ISEs must respond to information requests unless an exemption applies. A good faith defence protects individuals who share information in good faith and with reasonable care. The scheme will be reviewed after 2 years, and then again after 5 years. Complaints about privacy breaches can be made to the Victorian Information Commissioner or the Health Complaints Commissioner.

Reviewed 17 March 2020

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