Campaign report back: Safe Phones program saved!

After months of campaigning, the Morrison Government has committed funding to ensure the Safe Phones program, that provides hundreds of women affected by domestic violence with safe technology each month, will continue!

The funding announced isn’t the long-term commitment that a vital service like this needs; but it will mean that the service can maintain their work supporting victim-survivors throughout this pandemic. 

Thanks to the 1,909 Fair Agenda members who joined together to help stop these dangerous cuts from coming into effect. 

A new phone can be a lifeline when a woman is escaping an abuser. It can help her stay safe, stay connected to support systems and services, and prevent further abuse. The Safe Phones program supports hundreds of victim-survivors each month.

A service like this should never have been facing cuts. So when the cuts were announced, the Fair Agenda movement joined with specialist workers and survivor advocates to call for the Morrison government to put a stop to these dangerous cuts. 

And in the months since, we’ve harnessed our movement’s power to help keep this issue on the agenda. 

In the wake of Hannah Clarke’s devastating murder, as the media focused on domestic violence in our communities - we worked with experts to outline what is needed to make women safer. Together with experts at the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, we wrote an open letter to Minister Ruston and Women’s Safety Ministers around the country urging them to immediately implement five urgent actions to improve women’s safety, including funding services like the safe phones program. 

We worked to get these areas of need in the news, with opinion pieces and news coverage highlighting the importance of funding specialist domestic violence services, and the dangerous impact of cuts to services like the safe phones program. Our movement reached tens of thousands of people with the campaign’s message on social media. 

And, when we found out that the Prime Minister was set to meet with heads of Governments to discuss domestic violence plans, we flooded government representatives with more than a thousand emails expressing our disgust that services like the safe phones program and FVPLS forum are having to fight to keep their funding; and then flooded the Prime Minister’s phone lines with phone calls demanding that he act.

Then, when the Government announced a response to COVID-19 but didn’t include a commitment to Safe Phones, we called them out in the media and online; launching a scorecard tracking the areas where they had failed to act - including the Safe Phones program.

Together with service providers and survivor advocates, we’ve stopped these dangerous cuts from coming into effect. It’s important progress. But it’s far from all that’s needed. Another vital domestic violence group - the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum - is still facing cuts to its service. The Morrison Government has still left huge gaps in the safety net women need to be able to rely on during this time of increased risk in their homes. And this safe phones program needs to continue beyond the end of the year. 

The fight isn’t over. But together we’ve made this important progress. So thank you to everyone who was involved and supported this important campaign. We hope you’ll keep campaigning for funding of all the services women need to be safe during this time. 

You can add your name to Fair Agenda's ongoing campaign for full funding of domestic, family and sexual violence services here: 


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