Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime*. In times of crises, the numbers rise, including over the past 18 months with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. Most of this violence against women occurs in the home.

Today is the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Domestic and family violence (D&FV) can be physical, financial, emotional or psychological. Victim-survivors of domestic and family violencecan feel trapped inside their own home. And in today’s connected world, many abusers are misusing technology to make it even harder for people to escape or get help.

Disconnecting is not the answer. Because people need to stay connected.

At Telstra, we’re committed to providing access to safe and secure communications for anyone experiencing D&FV.

We’ve set up several initiatives to help, as well as worked with the Telco Together Foundation to create a united framework that will help all telco service providers better support victim-survivors of D&FV.

What we’re doing to help address domestic and family violence

D&FV can happen to anyone and staying connected is especially important if you’re living in a volatile environment. If you or someone you know is experiencing or has left a D&FV situation and needs access to safe communication, we can help.

We know that perpetrators of abuse can track personal devices and communication made from them. Our free payphones are a safe and secure channel for victims of domestic and family violence to seek help and support – simply call 1800 RESPECT from any Telstra payphone nationally.

For Telstra customers, our customer support team is trained to identify affected customers and can refer you to our SAFE team for further help. The SAFE team is specially trained to help victim-survivors stay safely connected to their Telstra services and can be reached between 8am – 6pm weekdays on 1800 452 566.

Since 2014, we’ve also been close partners with WESNET, the peak body for specialist women’s domestic and family violence services. We’ve donated over 34,000 smartphones with $30 of pre-paid credit to WESNET to give to victim-survivors impacted by D&FV as well as providing our dedicated SAFE customer support team to help victim-survivors safely activate the service.

WESNET provides the phones through its network of specially trained frontline agencies across the country through our joint Safe Connections program.

Where to get help

Call 000 if you are in immediate danger.

Call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – The National Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Counselling Service offers confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral services.

Call the Telstra SAFE team (1800 452 566) – our specially trained consultants help victim-survivors stay safely connected to their Telstra services.

Ask Izzy – Ask Izzy is a website that connects people in need with housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling and much more. It is free and anonymous, and if you’re on the Telstra mobile network, you can access Ask Izzy on your phone even if you don’t have credit or access to Wi-Fi.

Use this map to find your nearest payphone:

For more information on how we can all help, go to domestic and family violence assistance on telstra.com.au.

*World Health Organization, on behalf of the United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence Against Women Estimation and Data (2021). Violence against women prevalence estimates, 2018. Global, regional and national prevalence estimates for intimate partner violence against women and global and regional prevalence estimates for non-partner sexual violence against women.