GRCC Privacy Notice for Clients
The Galway Rape Crisis Centre (“GRCC”) (“We”) will not collect any information about individuals, except where it is specifically and knowingly provided by them. At GRCC we take your privacy seriously and endevour to ensure your information is kept securely and safely, and can be accessed only by those who have authorisation to do so. GRCC will process Personal Data in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation1 (“GDPR”), affective from 25th May 2018.
What data is being collected?
There are two types of data which GRCC may collect relating to a client; Personal Data and Special Categories of Personal Data.
Personal data refers to information that can lead to the direct identification of the individual, or the indirect identification of an individual through combining pieces of information, of which GRCC has legitimate possession. Examples of Personal data are:
- Date of birth
Special Categories of Personal data refers to a separate category of Personal Data relating to: Racial or Ethnic Origin, Political Opinions, Religious, Ideological or Philosophical beliefs, Trade Union membership, Information relating to one’s Sexual Orientation.
What is the legal basis for processing the data?
GRCC processes Personal Data and Special Categories of Personal Data under a number of Lawful Processing Conditions. We process individuals information under the following conditions:
- The individual has given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes;
- The processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the individual is party or in order to take steps at the request of the individual prior to entering a contract2;
- The processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller (GRCC) is subject 3;
- The processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the individual or of another natural person;
- The processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
- The processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest 4
- (note: not all conditions will apply to each piece if data, but at least one condition will apply to each piece of data)
- Will the data be shared with any third parties?
The Galway Rape Crisis Centre offers a high level of confidentiality to its clients and will endeavor at all times to maintain client anonymity. When beginning counselling we ask clients to give details of their GP and contact person in case of emergency. Your counsellor will not consult with your doctor, Gardaí, or other external personnel without your permission. However, there are circumstances in which we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality for both ethical and legal reasons. These are:
Obligation under Child Protection Act 2017
Where identifying information is given in relation to a person who has abused a child in the past or who may be currently at risk of abusing children the counsellor has an obligation under law to pass that information on to the HSE Child and Family Agency (TUSLA).
Safety and Welfare Concerns
If the counsellor becomes aware that the client’s safety or life, or that of another, is in danger, through suicide or threat from another source, GRCC reserves the right to contact the survivor’s doctor, relative or relevant authority to ensure the safety of the individual. As far as is possible and practical it will be clearly explained to the client that a break in confidentiality is warranted and the reason for this will be discussed before any action is taken.
Withholding of Information Act 2012
Under this new law a counsellor can be deemed to be withholding information unless the client requests that this information be withheld. For this reason you will be asked to sign a separate form.
The courts on occasion may subpoena information from GRCC, though this is rare.
Normally survivors who are under eighteen are seen with the permission of their parent(s) or guardian(s) and survivors who are under eighteen are encouraged to seek this permission.
However, we will see survivors who are under eighteen without the permission of their parent(s) or guardian(s) when it is deemed that the underage survivor has sufficient understanding to make the decision to receive counselling and where is deemed in the best interest of the survivor to do so.
When requested in writing and with written consent from the client a statement of attendance for counselling at the GRCC will be provided. Victim Impact Report will only provided post conviction for the purpose of assisting in sentencing and when requested by the Court or the client. Statements of attendance and Victim Impact Reports will also be issued for asylum seekers who are going through the Asylum and Residency process.
How will the information be used?
- Individuals information will be used for a number of purposes:
- In order to maintain contact will clients, regarding scheduling appointments and other matters with which GRCC may be aiding the client (court accompaniment etc.).
- In order to ascertain if it would be more convenient for the client to attend counselling in one of our outreach services, or attend another RCC.
- In order to provide the appropriate service to each individual client as the needs of all clients will not be the same.
The Galway Rape Crisis Centre keeps anonymised statistics on the number of clients, the types of abuse experienced by clients, age, gender, education level, housing situation/type, country of origin, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, legal status (refugee/asylum seeker). These statistics are held on as database and are anonymised; individual clients are not (and cannot be) identified in these statistics. This database is used for statisical purposes and equal opportunities monitoring. These statistics enable us to progress our work on behalf of all survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Information you provide is collated to help us demonstrate our impact to funders and develop our service to further meet users needs, we also use these statistics in our education programmes and trainings in order to dispel some of the myths which surround rape and you educate participants on sexual violence.
The counsellor may take notes pertaining to the counselling session. The notes belong to GRCC and will be kept securely and confidentially (with the exceptions given under this policy). Clients can request to see these notes by filling out a Personal Data Access Request form; you can get a form from your counsellor on request or by contacting frontline. Clients can also request a copy of these notes via the same avenue. GRCC will process your request within 30 days. This deadline may be extended to two months in certain situations.
How long will the information be stored?
Clients information will be stored for a total of seven years from first contact with the centre. We are obligated under professional law by our accreditation body and by our insurance to store clients information for this length of time. This relates only to information kept in hard copy form, statisical information which is kept in soft copy form (anonymised on the database) is kept for a infinite amount of time.
What rights does the data subject (client) have?
Under the GDPR, clients have numerous right and freedoms which are applicable to information which is processed by GRCC:
As already mentioned, clients (data subjects) have the Right of Access to Information. Clients can request to see, and request a copy of counselling notes and information held on them by GRCC.
Clients (data subjects) have the Right to Complain, Right to Judicial Remedy. If a client is not satisfied that GRCC adhered to its obligations under the GDPR, he or she can consider bringing a complaint to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner or seek a judicial remedy in the Irish courts.
How can the client raise a complaint?
Clients can raise a complaint by contacting our Executive Director, either by:
Email: [email protected]rcc.ie
Phone: 091 564 800
In writing: Executive Director, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, The Lodge, Forster Court, Galway
If you have any questions regarding information contained in this document, please ask your counsellor at your next appointment, or contact frontline on 091 564800.
This Access Request Policy will be reviewed regularly in light of any legislative or other relevant developments. This Access Request Policy is supplemented (and may be amended) by specific policies and procedures.