Chapter 2 — Definitions
Some key terms relevant to the Information Sharing Schemes are listed below.
Adolescent who uses family violence
Under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, a young person from the ages of 10 to 17 who chooses to use coercive and controlling techniques and violence against family members, including intimate partners is described as an adolescent who uses family violence. Adolescents who use family violence often coexist as victims of family violence and therapeutic responses should be explored.
The term most commonly used in Victoria to describe a person where there is not sufficient information for an Information Sharing Entity to form a reasonable belief that a person poses a risk of family violence. Under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, information about alleged perpetrators can only be shared with Risk Assessment Entities (RAE) for a family violence assessment purpose (refer to further reference to perpetrators below).
For the purposes of the Information Sharing Schemes, the term ‘confidential information’ includes:
- health information and identifiers for the purposes of the
- personal information for the purposes of the , including sensitive information (such as a criminal record), and unique identifiers
- personal information for the purposes of the , including sensitive information
Family violence is defined in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 as:
- behaviour by a person towards a family member that:
- is physically or sexually abusive
- is emotionally or psychologically abusive
- is financially abusive
- is threatening or coercive
- in any other way, controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or that of another person.
- behaviour that causes a child to hear, witness or otherwise be exposed to the effects of any behaviour referred to above.
Aboriginal community definitions of family violence include extended family, kinship networks, elder abuse and exclusion or isolation from Aboriginal culture and/or community by non-Aboriginal perpetrators.
Information Sharing Entities (ISEs)
Only organisations or services that are prescribed as Information Sharing Entities can share information under the Information Sharing Schemes. Prescribed organisations are those that have been determined under the child wellbeing and safety regulations or family violence protection regulations to be authorised to request and share information, and are required to respond to requests for information from other Information Sharing Entities when relevant requirements for sharing are met.
Examples of information sharing entities include:
- schools (government, independent and Catholic)
- long day care
- before and after school hours care
- Child Protection
- out-of-home care
- Victoria Police
- Maternal and Child Health Services
- the Orange Door.
Under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, perpetrator is the term most commonly used in Victoria to describe a person if it is reasonably believed that there is a risk they may commit family violence. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities may prefer to use the term ‘person who uses family violence’ over perpetrator. It is not an appropriate term to use to describe adolescents who use family violence they are described as adolescent who uses family violence.
Risk Assessment Entity (RAE)
Under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, there is also a subset of specialist Information Sharing Entities known as Risk Assessment Entities (RAEs) that are able to request and receive information for a family violence assessment purpose.
Risk Assessment Entities have specialised skills and authorisation to conduct family violence risk assessment. Schools are not Risk Assessment Entities under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme.
Examples of Risk Assessment Entities include:
- Victoria Police
- Child Protection
- family violence services
- some Orange Door services.
A list of authorised organisations can be found online at Information Sharing Entity List.
Any person other than the child or the child’s family members when using the Child Information Sharing Scheme or the victim survivor or perpetrator when using the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme. Third parties include friends, neighbours, colleagues or workmates whose confidential information may be relevant to promoting the wellbeing or safety of the child or group of children (the Child Information Sharing Scheme) or is relevant to assessing or managing risk of family violence (the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme).
Victim survivor (FVISS)
Under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme the term victim survivor is used to describe a person about whom it is reasonably believed that there is a risk the person may be subjected to family violence. This includes adults or children who have disclosed family violence or who have been identified as affected by family violence. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities may prefer to use the term ‘person experiencing family violence’ over victim survivor.
Reviewed 19 April 2021