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An innovative approach in preventing technology-based domestic violence

Media release

23 November 2016

WESNET Telstra Safe Connections project today received a bronze award in the community-led category of the 2016 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPAs recognise good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.

“In today’s society, there is almost complete overlap between technology abuse and domestic and family violence. Women are increasingly being stalked, threatened, abused through the misuse of technology,” explained WESNET National Chairperson, Julie Oberin.

“Through our partnership with Telstra, WESNET are providing 20,000 smart phones to women impacted by domestic or family violence, allowing them to stay safely connected to services, support and information,” said Ms Oberin.

“We’re thrilled this vital and effective program has been recognised by the ACVPAs, assisting us to build awareness of the program among services that support women and children impacted by domestic or family violence,” said Ms Oberin.

This year, the ACVPA celebrates its 25th year of rewarding outstanding community-based crime and violence prevention projects

“This project has been recognised for its innovative approach to dealing with the harms of family and domestic violence by distributing mobile phones to women at risk of violence,” said acting Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Chris Dawson APM.

“This allows them to ask police for help for themselves and their children in time of need,” Mr Dawson said.

The projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service and is chaired by the AIC Director.

“The ACVPAs are a great way to reward those who contribute to preventing or reducing crime and violence in our communities,” said ACVPA Board member Mr Andrew McIntosh, ACT Government Justice and Community Safety Directorate.

“It is also assists governments to identify good practice and effective community-based initiatives, ” Mr McIntosh said.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

For more information about the award winners, visit

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