Safety is a serious issue for members of the legal profession. This can apply both to a range of members of the profession, even lawyers working in policy areas where those areas may attract particular criticisms.

There are a number of resources available to assist in protecting members of the profession and ensuring their safety, such as by suppressing their home address.

Silent Elector Status

The Australian Electoral Commission maintains registry of voters that includes each voter’s address. A person on the roll can seek to be a silent elector if they have concerns for their safety through completing this form.

You can return your forms by post to:

                Australian Electoral Commission

                Reply Paid 9867

                Canberra ACT 2601

                (No stamp is necessary).

Alternatively, you can upload the documents to

Property Title Details Suppression

Land Title registries in various states allow people to search for property titles. When a person searches for a specific property title, they can receive details of who owns that property. However, it is also possible to seek the details of any properties owned by a particular person. By this method, a person could locate the home address of someone by searching their name through a Land Title Registry.

In both the ACT and NSW, people can ask that their information be suppressed from the public register.

In the ACT, this is done using the form found here. That form should be completed, including the details of the property you seek to suppress the details. Once finished, it should be returned to an Access Canberra office.

The ACT form will not prevent someone from searching a specific property and confirming that this is your address. However, it can prevent someone searching your property by name.

In NSW, the process is conducted by way of letter to the Privacy Coordinator of the Office of the Registry General.

Social Media

Social Media is something that can be easily overlooked when dealing with personal protection issues.  Things such as photos and who you associate with can be found through social media and used to locate you or family members.

A few simple steps can help mitigate the impact social media can have on your personal safety:

  1. Using alternate names on social media. This may include changing both your first and last name on services such as facebook, to help protect your privacy.
  2. Be cautious around profile photos. Some people choose to avoid using photos of themselves as profile pictures entirely. You should also consider who else appears in your profile photos, or other publicly accessible photos. Such as friends and family members.
  3. Review your privacy settings regularly. Social media platforms regularly amend their privacy options and terms. You should review these often to ensure only people you are comfortable with can access your profile.
  4. Finally, be conscious of who is on your followers or friends lists and what you are comfortable with those people seeing. Many programs and apps may let you restrict groups of people from your friends and followers.

Other Steps

There are other small steps that can be taken to ensure your safety. This can include:

  1. Having other close members of your family, or your partner, also complete silent elector and name suppression documents;
  2. Speak to family and friends about security and privacy. Especially around what they disclose about you, or what they post about you on social media;
  3. Speaking to your staff about personal safety and security;
  4. Ensuring that you never call a client form your personal mobile phone; and
  5. Report suspicious activity to the police. What counts as suspicious behaviour may vary for each person, but things such as unusual phone calls, unexpected attempts to sign into accounts or unusual messages could be examples.


The ACT Police have their own resources available to help inform the public of steps they can take for their own security. See here for more information.

The Family Violence and Children Committee recommend that all lawyers give thought to their safety and whether the above steps would help protect them from any issues in the future.