Contents of this page:

  1. Introduction
  2. Terms of use and terms of use helpline 1712

  3. Privacy policy helpline 1712
  4. Cookie Policy
  5. Contact

1. Introduction

Privacy and cookie policy and terms of use

When you use the services of helpline 1712 you agree with the following terms of use. The privacy and cookie policy is for information purposes only.

2. Conditions of use and functioning of helpline 1712

2.1 About helpline 1712

Helpline 1712 is a professional helpline for anyone with a question about violence, abuse or child abuse.

1712 is for both minors and adults. 1712 is for victims, perpetrators and bystanders of violence. The helpline is free and anonymous. 1712 can be reached by phone, email or chat.

1712 is a collaboration between the Centres for General Welfare (Centra Algemeen Welzijnswerk) and the Trust centres for Child Abuse (Vertrouwenscentra Kindermishandeling). Professional social workers of the Centres for General Welfare and the Trust centres for Child Abuse listen to your story. They provide information and advice. Or they can refer you to more specialised social services or the police.

2.2 What to do in an emergency?

1712 is a helpline for all your questions about violence, abuse and child abuse. 1712 is not an emergency number nor a hotline or helpdesk for violence. Due to remote contact and limited accessibility, 1712 cannot help in an emergency or urgent situation.

In this situation we advise you to contact the emergency number 101 (police) or 112 (urgent medical assistance and fire department).

2.3 Caller’s own responsibility

1712 provides information, advice and support to anyone with a question about violence, abuse and child abuse.

We count on the information you provide to be accurate and reliable. Please use our services properly. If not, 1712 can (temporarily) block its service for you.

Helpline 1712 might refer you to other forms of assistance.

2.4 Technical aspects of the chat service

The chat application works best on the following browsers: Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome. The chat application is not stable on Internet Explorer and Edge. The use of these browsers is therefore not recommended.

If you don’t know which browser (version) you’re using, you can check this by launching internet and looking in your menu bar under 'Help' ('About...').

The chat application may be blocked by your computer. This is due to the antivirus programs or the firewall that protect your computer. In this case you’ll have to temporarily disable them. Don’t forget to enable them again after the chat session.

If necessary, disable pop-up blockers for our website. Make sure not to close the different windows during the chat. Otherwise the chat session will be interrupted.

Due to a technical malfunction, a conversation may suddenly stop. This is inherent to working via the internet. Internet traffic is not always stable. In that case, log on again with the same name or nickname.

If you repeatedly have problems with the use of this chat software, please mail to Please include a detailed description and the time of the malfunction in your message.

2.5 Technical aspects of email assistance

Your email address will be treated confidentially. Your data will be transmitted via a secure connection. When we receive your email, we’ll respond to you within two working days. Sometimes something may go wrong during the transmission of your email, or communication over the internet may be delayed.

We’ll answer your email as carefully as possible. Please check whether our answer applies to your situation. The email we send is addressed only to you. If you receive an email that is not meant for you, please delete it and inform helpline 1712 or the sender of the mistake.

Sometimes our response ends up in your 'junk email' or spam folder. This may depend on the settings or security level of your mailbox. Therefore, please check your 'unwanted email' folder regularly.

2.6 Anonymity and professional secrecy

You don’t have to say who you are when you contact us. You don’t have to give your name and you can use a nickname if you like. Nor do you have to give an address or other personal information. You can mention the area where you live, to allow helpline 1712 to find the most appropriate assistance.

Our counsellors are obliged to treat any information with discretion and care. This is called professional secrecy. A counsellor may share some information with fellow counsellors to help you as best as possible. This is called shared professional secrecy.

Only when there are serious indications that someone is in real danger, the information could be passed on to the public prosecutor or the police. This is possible in emergency situations.

2.7 Processing of data

We process your personal data when you use our services or when you visit the 1712 website. Your data are securely stored by helpline 1712.

We store the information that you choose to share with us. These data are kept in an electronic file. You can read more about how we handle your data below.

3. Privacy policy helpline 1712

3.1 Introduction

This privacy policy explains how 1712 handles personal data.

1712 is an anonymous helpline. This means that you can contact us anonymously. You don’t have to give your name. The phone number you use to call us is not visible to the 1712 helpline or on your phone bill.

1712 is a collaboration between the Centres for General Welfare (CAW) and the Trust centres for Child Abuse (Vertrouwenscentra kindermishandeling). All counsellors you come into contact with are bound by professional secrecy. The counsellors are not allowed to pass on what you shared with them. This is only possible if you give them permission and very exceptionally in an emergency situation.

3.2 Legal grounds and data processing

This privacy policy takes into account the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation. This is European legislation that imposes certain conditions on organisations to protect your data.

3.3 Who processes the personal data?

Each province in Flanders has a 1712 team that consists of employees of a Centre for General Welfare (CAW) and a Trust centre for Child Abuse (Vertrouwenscentra Kindermishandeling). They are responsible for your personal data.

3.4 What are personal data?

Personal data include:

  • Identification data: these allow you to be identified as a person; such as your name, address, telephone number, email address, IP address, etc.
  • Personal characteristics such as age and sex
  • Social data such as family composition or relationship status
  • Data about your well-being and health

3.5 Privacy and telephone assistance

The phone number you use to call us is not visible to the 1712 counsellor. Our phone number is not visible on your phone bill.

3.6 Privacy and email assistance

When you email 1712, the counsellor will see your email address as you are the sender. The email messages you send us are temporarily stored in the mailbox by the teams at 1712 for up to 6 months. We do this to be able to provide better help in case you contact us again.

When you send us an email, we can see your email address. In other words, think about the email address and the mailbox you use (and who can read our reply). If you don’t want us to keep your email, please let us know.

The content of the email conversations can be used for internal training, after anonymisation.

3.7 Privacy and chat assistance

The chat conversation is confidential and discrete and is conducted through secure chat software.

You don’t have to use your real name to chat. You can also choose a nickname or pseudonym. At the start of the conversation we ask for some general information such as age, region and sex. This information makes it easier to help you. You can provide this information, but it is not mandatory.

The chat conversations, your IP address and the information you provide will be stored and kept for up to 6 months on a secure server of SIT-tool, the provider of the chat software.

A secure chat environment is preferable.

This can be done by:

  • Ensuring that you log in on a computer with your own login name
  • Not storing the history of websites
  • Ensuring that cookies are deleted when you close your browser

Don’t save your chat sessions digitally or on paper.

If you think this is important, please check your computer and change your settings so that no data about your visit to 1712 is stored.

We also use a cookie to keep the chat session open for five minutes. This way, if the session is interrupted due to a technical issue, you don’t have to log in again. This cookie means you go to the same counsellor in the chat room.

The content of the chat conversations can be used for internal training, after anonymisation.

3.8 Where is your file kept?

We keep your electronic file in a secure place that is managed by the Flemish Expertise Center for Child Abuse (Vlaams expertisecentrum voor Kindermishandeling). This is a partner organisation of 1712. Information on privacy and data protection about this electronic file can be obtained from

3.9 Are records shared with third parties?

To help you as best we can, it may be necessary to involve third parties or we may need additional information from those third parties. Before we request information or pass it on, this will be discussed with you and we will ask for your permission.

The Health Care Inspectorate
The Flemish Health Care Inspectorate (in Dutch: Zorginspectie) has the right to demand access to a care file. This is necessary to be able to properly carry out the inspection. The personal data will be made anonymous, unless it concerns an individual complaint.

Government figure analysis
1712, the CAWs and the Trust centres for Child Abuse are obliged to provide anonymised data to the Flemish government. It doesn’t concern personal data, but general data such as age of the clients, number of requests for help, theme of the request for help, etc.

3.10 Security of personal data

Each CAW and each Trust centre for Child Abuse, active in 1712, is obliged to secure personal data correctly.

By doing so, we want to prevent this data from being lost, misused or destroyed.

To this end, we take several measures:

  • by providing limited access to places where data are stored (such as buildings and computers) and monitoring that access;
  • by using technical tools such as passwords and authentication;
  • by allowing access only to necessary information.

Processors must meet the same level of security. Processors are persons or organisations who process personal data on behalf of CAW or the Trust centre for Child Abuse, such as electronic file administrators or server installations, security firms, etc.

3.11 What are your rights?

Right to information and transparency

We insist on being very clear and open about how we handle your request for help and your personal data. Our counsellors take this to heart and discuss it with you.

Right to withdraw consent

Only if we are absolutely sure of your identity, you have the right to withdraw your consent to the processing of your personal data at any time. Discuss this with your counsellor or send an email via the contact form.

Right of access and copy

Only if we are absolutely sure of your identity, you have the right to inspect your file or receive a copy. You can request this via the email form on our website or via the email address below (see chapter 'contact'). Within 14 days we will let you know whether we allow or refuse your request.

Right of portability

Only, if we are absolutely sure of your identity, you have the right to obtain your personal data. This allows you to possibly transfer that data to another 'data controller' (e.g. another organisation that will provide further support).

Right to rectify or supplement

Only, if we are absolutely sure of your identity, you have the right to rectify or supplement your data. This is possible if the information we use is incorrect, incomplete or irrelevant. Some information is the result of a professional assessment. You can always add that you don’t agree to that assessment.

Right to object

Only, if we are absolutely sure of your identity, you have the right to request that we no longer use your personal data. This is called the right to object.

Right to erasure of data.

As of 1/01/2019, your file will be kept for a minimum of 10 years after the conclusion of your assistance. After that, it will be deleted.

Files that were closed earlier, before 31/12/2018, are kept for five years.

The above periods apply unless other legal retention periods exist.

Only, if we are absolutely sure of your identity, you can possibly have your data erased earlier on your own responsibility, with the exception of legal obligations and legal deadlines that Helpline 1712 must take into account.

Right to lodge a complaint

If you feel that 1712 is not or not properly respecting your rights in relation to your personal data, you can always contact us.

We will deal with your complaint, involve the 1712 team if necessary and take the necessary measures. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Flemish Supervisory Commission and with the Belgian Data Protection Authority:

Belgian Data Protection Authority (in Dutch: Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit) Drukpersstraat 35, 1000 Brussels, +32 (0)2 274 48 00,

Flemish Data Protection Authority: Koning Albert II-laan 15, Brussel 1210, +32 (0)2 553 50 47,

4. Cookie policy

4.1 Use of cookies

The website is the property of Centrum Algemeen Welzijnswerk (CAW) Oost-Brabant, Redingenstraat 6, 3000 Leuven.

Via the 1712 website, CAW Oost-Brabant processes personal data that are automatically collected by cookies when visiting the website.

These data are used for functional purposes. The cookie policy explains which cookies the 1712 website uses and why.

We also explain how you can monitor and manage the use of cookies.

4.2 What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that a website installs in the web browser when someone visits the website. Cookies allow the browser to recognise visitors by a unique code. Cookies remember information about you and save your personal settings and preferences. This allows you to surf the website faster and more easily.

4.3 Managing and disabling cookies

If you don’t want cookies on your computer, you can change the settings of your browser.

Some elements of the website require cookies. If you disable these cookies, visual elements or applications on the website may not work as well.

4.4 Types of cookies

Functional and essential cookies

By using our website, you are showing your agreement with the use and storage of certain essential cookies on your computer or mobile device. These cookies allow the website to function properly. A Session cookie keeps track of your language and preferences and has a limited lifespan.

5. Contact

I have a question about this privacy policy

If you have any questions about the content of this policy or if you have any questions about the processing of your personal data, please contact us at the following e-mail address: