Victims of domestic abuse to be given free mobile phones through new UK programme 2 years ago

Victims of domestic abuse to be given free mobile phones through new UK programme

"Domestic abuse can often make people feel isolated and alone."

Victims of domestic violence are to be given free mobile phones under a new programme in the UK.

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Charity Safelives and Vodafone UK have partnered to launch a new programme called 'Lifeline' which gives victims of domestic abuse mobile phones preloaded with SIM cards and credit.

The phones will keep victims in touch with friends and family, or provide an additional mode of communication where a person's phone has been taken away by an abusive partner.

Third Sector reports that the programme is to be rolled out in health centres across the country including hospitals and GPs.

Suzanne Jacob, chief executive of SafeLives, commended Vodafone for supporting victims of domestic abuse in the UK.

"Domestic abuse can often make people feel isolated and alone," she said. "We are determined at SafeLives to find ways to use technology to overcome this."

"Too often we hear about the risks and dangers rather than thinking creatively about how to use technology to support survivors – to reach out to other people with similar experiences and to find information quickly and safely.

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"Domestic abuse is an epidemic that affects every community in the country and we need companies to step up to the challenge."

Almost two million people aged between 16 and 59 experienced domestic abuse in 2017. This included 1.2 million women and 713,000 men.

One of the most common signs of domestic abuse is control - both physical and emotional.

This year, Women's Aid's #TooIntoYou campaign is encouraging an open discussion about healthy and unhealthy relationships.

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The Irish charity is also providing women with the tools to spot the danger signs associated with dating and digital abuse.

Their 10 key signs of emotional abuse include:

  • He complains you spend too much time with your friends
  • He dictates what you wear
  • He constantly checks up on you when you're not together
  • He accuses you of cheating on him, and
  • You are afraid to break up with him

The full list of signs can be found here. 

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