Family Violence Policy
We are committed to the highest standards of compliance with applicable financial and domestic abuse laws and seeks to follow best practice where it is able. This Financial & Domestic Abuse Policy outlines our commitment to victims of financial or domestic abuse and has been endorsed by our Board and Senior Management.
Our Financial & Domestic Violence Policy is maintained and reviewed regularly by senior management. Senior management will also communicate the content of the Financial & Domestic Abuse Policy to staff and will ensure there is appropriate training and monitoring of compliance.
References to “you” in this Policy Statement means you as a policyholder, director, employee or other insured person or insured under a policy arranged or issued by us.
The principles below outline Our approach to assisting Customers who may be experiencing Family Violence.
- treat you with respect and dignity, and exercise discretion and sensitivity;
- make sure that safety is paramount for anyone affected by Family Violence;
- assist you to access support services where possible;
- consider if you are suffering Financial Hardship and exercise compassion; and
- provide you with contact details of people or services, with specialist training and experience who may be able to assist you with your personal circumstances.
If you are in immediate danger
Call the police on 000 if you are in immediate danger. Once you are safe you can contact us in relation to your complaint.
Tell us about your situation if you can
If you are on a call with one of our employees and can tell us about your circumstances or concerns, please do this so we can offer support and assistance in a timely manner.
We will handle your complaint with sensitivity, flexibility and care where:
- you and the alleged perpetrator are joint policyholders; or
- the alleged perpetrator has caused the claim or is involved in relation to the subject matter of the complaint — for example, by damaging the property the subject of the complaint.
We will not require you to do either of the following (unless you are comfortable doing so):
- make direct contact with the alleged perpetrator; or
- make a police report about the alleged perpetrator.
Support and Assistance
When we become aware that you may be in a Family Violence situation, we will make a record of this on our file with your agreement and try to minimise the need for you to make repeated disclosure to us about your situation.
Our employees may ask you questions about your current situation to understand whether it is safe to continue with the call at that time. We will also discuss safe ways to communicate with you and record this on file. For example:
- the name and contact number of a support person, if you’ve nominated one and given us your consent to speak with them. A support person may be a lawyer, consumer representative, counsellor, interpreter, relative or friend;
- the safest and most suitable time and method to contact you or your support person; or
- whether it is safe to leave phone messages, send e-mails or send documents via post.
If you prefer to only speak to an employee of a particular gender because of your circumstances, we will arrange this wherever it is practical for us to do so.
Private and Confidential Information
We will handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and any other applicable laws.
We are committed to the security of your personal information and will engage with you to determine your preferred methods of communication.
We will not disclose your personal information to the alleged perpetrator of the Family Violence if you tell us who they are, even if they are a joint policyholder, unless we are required to do so by law.
We recommend that you update any personal security codes you use to prevent the alleged perpetrator from accessing your information, especially if the codes are based on information they may be aware of.
Financial Hardship Assistance
If you tell us, or we identify, that you are being affected by Family Violence, we will ask about your financial situation to determine if you are experiencing Financial Hardship.
If we determine that you need Financial Hardship assistance, we will assess your complaint in line with our Financial Hardship policy. For example, we will:
- ensure any recovery action is put on hold until our review is complete; and
- make you aware of certain free assistance services which may be available to you.
We provide appropriate training to all our Customer facing employees to help them:
- understand if you may be vulnerable;
- identify, support and avoid harm to Customers affected by Family Violence;
- decide about how best, and to what extent, we can support you;
- protect private and confidential, and personal information of Customers affected by Family Violence;
- take account of your needs or vulnerability; and
- engage with you with sensitivity, dignity, respect and compassion — this may include arranging additional support, for example referring you to people, or services, with specialist training and experience.
We will review and update our training on a regular basis.
“Customer, you, your” means an individual insured, a third-party beneficiary, a potential customer or an individual Underwriters or their representatives are seeking to recover money from.
“Family Violence” means violent, threatening, or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family, or causes the family member to be fearful, including by way of:
- physical violence;
- emotional abuse;
- psychological abuse;
- sexual abuse;
- financial or economic abuse; or
- damage to property.
“We, us, our” means HW Wood Australia Pty Ltd.
The following is a list of specialist service providers that may be able to assist you if you are experiencing Family Violence. We do not have any affiliation or relationship with these organisations and are not responsible for any assistance services they may provide.
|Australia Wide||1800 RESPECT||1800respect.org.au||1800 737 732|
|Australia Wide||Lifeline||lifeline.org.au||13 11 14|
|Australia Wide||Mensline||mensline.org.au||1300 78 99 78|
|Australia Wide||Beyond Blue||beyondblue.org.au||1300 224 636|
|Australia Wide||National debt helpline||ndh.org.au||1800 007 007|
|ACT||Domestic violence crisis service||dvcs.org.au||6280 0900|
|ACT||Legal Aid ACT helpline||legalaidact.org.au||1300 654 314|
|NSW||NSW Domestic violence helpline||dcj.nsw.gov.au/||1800 65 64 63|
|NSW||LawAccess NSW||lawaccess.nsw.gov.au||1300 888 529|
|NSW||Legal Aid NSW||legalaid.nsw.gov.au||1300 888 529|
|NT||Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission Helpline||legalaid.nt.gov.au||1800 019 343|
|Queensland||DV connect||dvconnect.org||1800 811 811|
|Queensland||Legal Aid Queensland||legalaid.qld.gov.au||1300 651 118|
|South Australia||Legal Services Commission of South Australia||lsc.sa.gov.au||1300 366 424|
|Tasmania||Family violence counselling and support service||health.tas.gov.au||1800 015 188|
|Tasmania||Legal aid commission of Tasmania||legalaid.tas.gov.au||1300 366 611|
|Victoria||Safe Steps||safesteps.org.au||1800 015 188|
|Victoria||Victoria Legal Aid||legalaid.vic.gov.au||1300 792 387|
|Western Australia||Domestic violence helpline||1800 007 339|
|Western Australia||Legal Aid WA||legalaid.wa.gov.au||1300 650 579|