While we apply our principles (anonymity, confidentiality, remaining non-judgemental and non-directive) to every call, we do have a number of legal and other obligations that we must meet in some calls.
Where a call relates to abuse of a minor:
- Minor is defined as anyone younger than 17 years old in the case of sexual abuse. In all other cases of abuse, a minor is defined as someone younger than 18 years.
- If the caller was the victim of abuse, be it physical, sexual or emotional abuse, and is no longer a minor, we can discuss this with the caller and do not have an obligation to report this call to the Gardaí.
- If the issue of the abuse of a minor arises in a call, where the caller is not the victim, the call must be ended immediately (i.e. the caller may not talk about being the abuser, or the abuse of a friend or relative). The call (including any identifying details given by the caller) must be reported to the Gardaí. We do not, however, have the ability to share phone numbers or IP addresses.
- This policy covers current, historic abuse and is in line with our obligations as a listening service under the Children First Act 2017.
Where the caller is the perpetrator of a serious crime:
If the perpetrator of rape, abuse or any other serious crime is the caller, our responsibility is still to provide a supportive listening and information service. If the caller gives detailed information regarding past, present or future serious crimes, we are under obligation to report this to the authorities. Callers will be warned of this obligation, if possible, before they reveal any such details.
Where the caller is being abusive towards the volunteer:
Callers will be warned at the first display of aggressive or abusive behaviour towards our volunteers. Where the caller continues to exhibit aggressive or abusive behaviour, the volunteer will inform them that they can no longer continue the call before the call is ended.
Where the caller’s life is in immediate danger:
In a situation where we fear the caller’s life is in immediate danger, it is our obligation to inform them that we can contact emergency services on their behalf at any point in the call, if they so wish. However, if a caller does not wish to avail of this option, we will continue to provide a supportive, non-judgemental, non-directive listening service.
This policy is in line with legal advice and the Good Practice Guidelines set out by the Nightline Association, Samaritans and the Helplines Partnership in the UK.
Where the caller is not a student of one of our affiliated colleges (ITB, ITT, MU, NCAD, NCI, RCSI, TCD or UCD):
Due to the nature of our funding model, the service is officially available only for students of the above colleges. If you disclose your college and it is not part of this group, we will regretfully have to advise you of other services that are available to students of your college. If you would like your college to be part of Niteline, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Personal Information
NiteLine understands that the information collected on this website exclusively belongs to the user.
By participating in our instant messaging service on our website, your conversation is confidential and every effort is made to safeguard anonymity between the caller and the volunteer. We recommend that you choose not to share personal information during a call to ensure your own protection of such.
We treat all information as confidential and will not disclose information to any third party, pending the threat to human life or any form of criminal activity where a risk is portrayed, along with the right to contact the emergency services on your behalf, as aforementioned. We do reserve the right to contact the Garda Síochana in such circumstances.
Such content shared during a conversation will be secured and shall be deemed the property right of NiteLine. Once the live discussion has ended, the shared content will be erased indefinitely.
How We Use Your Online Information
Despite NiteLine retaining certain information gathered from a call, this information doesn’t reveal the identity nor does it violate the anonymity of the caller themselves as per se of the intended purpose of such as it provides a transparent and comprehensive overview of the volume of callers thereto ensuring that we can provide the caller with the best possible service from using our website. Indubitably, the individual subject is determined anonymous in our log files.
How We Treat Your Application
If applying to be a phone or publicity volunteer, all information from the data subjects shall be secured in-line with its intended subject-matter and objectives.
Unsuccessful applicants will have all their data erased as per se with Article 17 (1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 if such data is no longer necessary in relation to its original purpose. This also applies to all existing and retired volunteers.
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