Smartphones for survivors.
Technology and safety support for frontline workers.

 The Safe Connections Program is an award-winning project run in partnership between Wesnet and Telstra. With devices (including top-up credit) generously donated by Telstra, the program provides free smartphones to survivors of domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence.

With funding from the Australia Government through Safer Technology for Women, Wesnet manage the distribution of phones and provides training and resources on the safe use of technology to Safe Connections Agencies.

A successful collaboration between non-profit, corporate and government:

Wesnet

WESNET Tech Safety Specialists provide training and support to the frontline workers on how to recognise technology abuse, and to integrate tech safety into each client’s personal risk and safety plans.
Survivors not only get a new phone, but also become more tech savvy about using smartphones and other technology.

Telstra

Donated over 40,000 brand smartphones with $30 prepaid credit
Provided a dedicated Telstra customer service team -- the Safe Team -- to help survivors safely activate their new phone. The SAFE team is trained by WESNET on working with victims of family violence.
Worked with ACMA to obtain a specialist ID exemption to enable women time to obtain copies of their identity documents.

Australian Government

Funded WESNET to distribute the phones alongside safety planning advice through our national network of 276 frontline domestic, family and sexual violence services across Australia.
This ensures the smartphones reach the right women, are able to be safely activated and that the new device doesn’t inadvertently make things worse.

Getting women off technology is not the answer...

For women escaping violence, a new phone can be a life-saving tool, ensuring she can safely remain in contact with support services while providing privacy and security as she manages her safety. Between 2015 and 2024, over 40,000 new smartphones with $30 credit have been given to women experiencing violence through WESNET and Telstra’s Safe Connections world first program.

Phone for victim-survivors

Victim-survivors receive a new smartphone, a $30 pre-paid SIM card, 90-day ID exemption and technology safety information free-of-charge (all integrated with other supports provided by participating frontline services)



Education and Advice

We believe in educating and empowering workers and women to ensure women receive the full benefits of digital technology. This including increased physical and psychological safety, social connection, and access to economic opportunity.



Technology Safety Training

By delivering tech-safety training and advice to frontline services, Safe Connections increases the capacity of frontline workers to respond to technology-facilitated abuse, improving victim-survivor safety.



If you are interested in becoming a safe connections agency 

Ring us on 1800 WESNET or join or waitlist

What people are saying about the Safe Connection Program program

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"The program has been crucial in providing victims with a safe device that prevents ongoing abuse from their ex-partner and keeps them connected to family, friends and support services. Many women have had their previous mobile tracked and experienced ongoing harassment through calls and text messages. Most women don't have the funds to purchase a new phone due to financial abuse, so without this program they would continue to be stuck in the cycle of DV through technology abuse."

"When you offer a phone to a woman who has previously been denied the ability to have one by a perpetrator and she cries, you know this service is making a difference. In some cases it had enabled them to re-connect with extended family for the first time in months, or even years."

"Great for our women who feel so isolated without a phone, gives them the freedom to contact friends and family without fear of him knowing."


The program was externally evaluated by Curtin University in February 2018.

"In summary, Safe Connections is a shining example of multi-sector collaboration that is having a real impact on the lives of women and their children who have experienced family and domestic violence."

--Professor Donna Chung and Dr Kate Dorozenko



The program won an Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award in 2016. The awards recognise and reward good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia. 

In March 2016, Telstra announced that it would be providing 20,000 new smartphones to the program. The Commonwealth Government also funded WESNET to deliver training about technology-facilitated abuse to frontline agencies so they can provide the phones safely to women who need them.  The measure known as Safer Technology for women was part of the $100M Women's Safety Package. 


Contact

[email protected] / (Australia FREE CALL) 1800 937 638

Graphics in this website are made by Cuate from storyset.com