On March 17, 2016, Telstra announced its partnership with Federal Government and Women’s Services Network (WESNET), expanding the Safe Connections program, which will provide up to 20,000 survivors of domestic violence.
The program received enthusiastic accolades from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for their participation in the Women’s Safety Package.
Speaking on the new program, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said, “I am a technology optimist and that is why I am so proud Telstra is part of the Safe Connections program. Safe Connections is about empowering women impacted by domestic violence and we know first-hand from our partnership with WESNET that this program makes a real difference. Technology, especially a mobile phone, is now a major part of everyday life.
It is vitally important anyone in a domestic violence situation has access to safe, secure communications so they can stay connected with family and friends at a time when they need to most. It is also critical women are aware telephone, surveillance and computer technologies are increasingly being used to monitor and harass victims and what to do about it.”
In addition to the smartphones, the recipients will also receive special training on how to control the security and privacy settings. There will also be special training on how to gather court evidence, using smartphones.
‘Safe Connections’ is the newest initiative under the ‘Everyone Connected’ program, geared towards addressing the communication needs of disadvantaged Australians.
Programs like ‘Safe Connections’ are essential towards making the best of technology, while diminishing the harm as much as possible.