Privacy Policy – National Domestic Abuse Helpline website

1. Refuge policy

At Refuge, we are committed to providing our life-saving and life-changing services to survivors escaping domestic and other forms of gender violence.

This is why we want to be completely transparent about what happens to any personal data you share with us and how we use the data once we collect it.

2. Purpose

This privacy policy provides users and other stakeholders with a clear explanation of how we use their data in accordance with GDPR to provide services.

3. Scope

This policy applies to all individuals whose data is collected and/or analysed by Refuge staff in the course of their work. This policy informs our approach with third party suppliers and the stipulations we make in relevant contracts, agreements and Standard Operating Procedures.

4. Definitions

For the purpose of this policy we define a service user as an individual or organisation that provides personal information to Refuge via the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (NDAH) to enable Refuge to provide them with services.

5. Detailed Policy

Refuge is committed to protecting any personal information you provide to us. Any personal information you provide to us will be processed in the ways described in this privacy policy.  This policy explains how we collect information, what we do with it and what rights you have over it.

We would like to assure anyone who accesses our websites and any of our support services that Refuge is committed to the privacy and security of their personal information.

1. Who we are

In this privacy policy, Refuge means:

Refuge: registered charity in England and Wales (277424), a company Limited by guarantee in England (1412276) and a registered housing provider (4730).

Refuge is a ‘controller’ for the purposes of the EU General Data Protection Regulations 2016/679. As a controller we are responsible for, and control the processing of your personal information.

If you require further information about our privacy practices, please contact our Data Protection Officer by:

Writing to Refuge, International House, 1 St Katherine’s Way, London E1W 1UN
Emailing to
Calling us on 020 7395 7700

2. How we collect information about you

When you visit our website: Refuge only collects personal information that you voluntarily give to us by completing the form on the NDAH website. This information held securely and is collected to enable us to provide you with the service you have requested. We may use cookies to track which pages you visit when you visit the website but this is collected anonymously and is only done to enable us to improve the services being offered to users of the website.

When using Helpline Live Chat: All details of Live Chat conversations will be automatically deleted at the end of each session. With your consent, some notes on your chat will be retained on Refuge’s confidential database. If those notes contain personal information that you voluntarily give to us this will be held securely to provide you with any services you have requested.

There are more details below – see ‘Use of cookies’.

3. Information we collect about you

We only collect the information you provide on the web form:

  • name;
  • whether you have contacted us before;
  • your message;
  • your contact details (including telephone number and e-mail address);
  • whether you would like an interpreter and language required;
  • your consent;
  • any other personal information you provide to us.

Certain types of personal information are in a special category under data protection laws, as they are considered to be more sensitive.  Examples of this type of sensitive data would be information about health, race, religious beliefs, political views, trade union membership, sex life or sexuality or genetic/biometric information.  We only collect this type of information if provided on the form and to the extent that there is a clear reason for us to do so.

4. How your information is used

Refuge uses the information you provide to us for one or more of the following purposes:

  • to provide you with the services, products or information you asked for and to understand how we can improve our services;
  • to respond to or fulfil any requests, complaints or queries you make to us;
  • to administer our websites and to troubleshoot, perform data analysis, research, generate statistics and surveys related to our technical systems;
  • for testing our technical systems to make sure they are working as expected;
  • to display content to you in a way appropriate to the device you are using (for example if you are viewing content on a mobile device or a computer);
  • to monitor website use to identify non-personalised visitor location, guard against disruptive use, and monitor website traffic;
  • to meet our legal obligations to agencies such as regulators, government and/or law enforcement bodies;#
  • to establish, defend or enforce legal claims

5.1 Responding to your request

NDAH staff will respond to your web form request within 24 hours or at the safe time you entered onto the form.

5.2 Who your information is shared with

Refuge may disclose personal information if required to do so by law or if it believes in good faith that such action is required by law. Information may be shared with the appropriate law enforcement and statutory agencies for the purposes of safeguarding where action needs to be taken to protect the safety of the individuals concerned.

5.3 Other
Refuge may analyse and disclose aggregate statistics about our site visitors, and donations in order to describe our services to prospective partners, other reputable third parties and for other lawful purposes, but these statistics will include no personally identifying information.

This site contains links to other sites. Refuge is not responsible for the privacy policies or the content of such sites.

6. How long we keep your information for

We will only keep your information for as long as is reasonable and necessary to provide you with the services requested. Personal information will be kept in accordance with Refuge’s Retention Policy.

7. How we keep your information safe
Refuge places a great importance on the security of your information. We have physical, technical and organisational security measures in place to attempt to protect against the improper access, loss, misuse and alteration of personal data under our control (for example, our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorised personnel have access to personal information). Information you submit via this website is sent to a computer located in the United Kingdom

If you have given us the relevant permission to do so, we may communicate with you via email. Email is not a fully secure means of communications and whilst we do our utmost to keep our systems and communications protected we cannot guarantee this.

Our websites may contain links to other sites. While we try to link only to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the content or the privacy practices employed by other sites.

8. Legal basis for using your information

According to data protection laws each use we make of personal information must have a “legal basis”.  The relevant legal bases are set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679) and in current UK data protection legislation. For the data processing activities described in this policy we rely on the following bases:

Consent is given where we ask you for permission to use your information in a specific way, and you agree to this.  Where we use your information for a purpose based on consent, you have the right to withdraw consent for this purpose at any time.

Legal obligation
We have a basis to use your personal information where we need to do so to comply with one of our legal or regulatory obligations.

Performance of a contract / take steps at your request to prepare for entry into a contract
We have a basis to use your personal information where we are entering into a contract with you or performing our obligations under that contract.

Vital interests
We have a basis to use your personal information where it is necessary for us to protect life or health.   For instance if there is an emergency impacting individuals or a safeguarding issue where action needs to be taken to protect the safety of the individuals.

Legitimate interests
We have a basis to use your personal information if it is reasonably necessary for us (or others) to do so and in our/their “legitimate interests” (provided that what the information is used for is fair and does not unduly impact your rights).

Refuge considers our legitimate interests to include all of the day-to-day activities carried out with personal information for the purposes of the running of a charity.

When we use sensitive personal information (please see the “What personal information we collect” section above), we require an additional legal basis to do so under data protection laws, so will either do so on the basis of your explicit consent.

9. Your Rights

You have various rights in respect of the personal information we hold about you – these are set out in more detail below.  If you wish to exercise any of these rights or make a complaint, you can do so by contacting our Supporter Care team at Refuge; International House, 1 St Katherine’s Way, London E1W 1UN, by email at and by phone on 020 7395 7700.  You can also make a complaint to the data protection supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office,

Access to your personal information: You have the right to request access to a copy of the personal information that we hold about you, along with information on what personal information we use, why we use it, who we share it with, how long we keep it for and whether it has been used for any automated decision making. You can make a request for access free of charge.  Please make all requests for access in writing, and provide us with satisfactory proof of your identity.

Right to object: You have the right to object to certain purposes for processing, in particular to data processed for direct marketing purposes and to data processed for certain reasons based on our legitimate interests. You can contact us by going to the Contact Us section of our website to exercise these rights.

Consent: If you have given us your consent to use personal information you can withdraw your consent at any time.

Rectification: You can ask us to change or complete any inaccurate or incomplete personal information held about you.

Erasure: You can ask us to delete your personal information where it is no longer necessary for us to use it, you have withdrawn consent, or where we have no lawful basis for keeping it.

Portability: You can ask us to provide you or a third party with some of the personal information that we hold about you in a structured, commonly used, electronic form, so it can be easily transferred.

Restriction: You can ask us to restrict the personal information we use about you where you have asked for it to be erased or where you have objected to our use of it.

No automated-decision making: Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention.  You have the right not to be subject to automated decisions that will create legal effects or have a similar significant impact on you, unless you have given us your consent, it is necessary for a contract between you and us or is otherwise permitted by law.  You also have certain rights to challenge decisions made about you.  We do not currently carry out any automated decision-making.

Please note, some of these rights only apply in certain circumstances and we may not be able to fulfil every request.

Use of cookies

Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to your hard drive to store and sometimes track information about you.  Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but, if you prefer, you can change your browser to prevent that.  However, you may not be able to take full advantage of a website if you do so.  Cookies are specific to the server that created them and cannot be accessed by other servers, which means they cannot be used to track your movements around the web.  Although they do identify a user’s computer, cookies do not personally identify users.  Passwords and payment information are not stored in cookies.

We use cookies to:

  • Estimate our visitor size and patterns
  • Better understand visitor preferences and to improve and update our website

Cookie Definitions uses one cookie called SC_ANALYTICS_GLOBAL_COOKIE. The default expiry is ten years. Upon first visit to the site it is set to a Globally Unique ID (GUID), which is then used by the platform to track interactions across the site. does not track or store anything that is personally identifiable such as IP addresses. This site does not use geolocation services for tracking the origin of requests. It does track the referring site (i.e. where you have come to from, like Google or a local authority website) through that site’s HTTP_REFER value (more information here). This allows us to see where most of the ‘referrals’ to the NDVH are coming from.

It is possible for you to stop or restrict the cookies set by Refuge by changing your browsers settings, however this might possibly affect the functionality of the site.

Refuge cookie policy
Cookies used by Refuge are not present to gather and use personally identifiable information from its users. The cookies we use are necessary for site functionality, some of the cookies in place will improve your interactions with the site or provide us with data which will enable us to do so.

For more data on Cookies visit In addition to detailing extensive information on cookies this site also provides explanations on how to disable cookies on your computer.