Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Joint Media Release - Safe phones for domestic violence victims

17 March 2016

Prime Minister

Minister for Women

Minister for Social Services

Today the Government joined Telstra and the Women’s Services Network (WESNET) to announce a joint commitment to support women experiencing technology-facilitated abuse and to help domestic violence victims stay connected. 

Technology offers a forum for interaction which is of enormous social benefit.  However we also know that technology can be used as just another tool by perpetrators to inflict domestic violence. It can be used to harass, track or stalk victims.

Whether it be through text messaging, GPS tracking or social media – technology can be used to compound the suffering of domestic violence victims.

The Government is providing $2.5 million to the WESNET to distribute smartphones, and provide training to frontline services to help domestic violence victims understand how to use their smart phone safely.

The funding is part of the Government’s Safe Technology for Women measure under the $100 million Women’s Safety Package.

Telstra has committed 20,000 smart phones over three years to be provided to WESNET through the Telstra Safe Connections project. 

Mobile phones can often be the most important tool domestic violence victims have at their disposal and so the issuing of safe phones is a practical, immediate measure which will benefit thousands of women across Australia.

This commitment will allow domestic violence victims access to safe and secure communications when they most need it.

The collaboration between the Commonwealth Government, WESNET and Telstra is an important illustration of how government and business are working together to reduce violence against women in Australia.

The Government will continue to deliver the $100 million Women’s Safety Package with practical and immediate measures to keep women safe.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit