Sunshine Coast Council will donate 100 iPhones to local organisation DV Safe Phone to help domestic and family violence victims in need.
Council is one of the first local governments in Queensland to back this campaign which started in April last year, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is designed to save lives.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said Council was pleased to be making this contribution to DV Safe Phone’s campaign to get unused mobile phones out of people’s bottom drawers and into the hands of victims of domestic and family violence.
“What we know is that many people escaping domestic and family violence often leave an unsafe situation with little to nothing – so this initiative is one small way to assist victims to reconnect with friends, families and the essential support services which they need,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Domestic and family violence has no place in our community.
“Unfortunately however, on average 12 women each day are hospitalised for assault injuries due to domestic and family violence.
“This is completely unacceptable and is a scourge that we hope to eliminate from our Sunshine Coast.”
Division 4 Councillor, Joe Natoli said council’s IT department had securely wiped and donated 50 end-of-lease phones to date and would donate another 50 as they became available.
“Everyone in our community has the right to be free from harm and to live without fear of violence or abuse,” Cr Natoli said.
“Many local businesses and residents have rallied together to help this cause and I’m proud to see council get behind it.”
Ashton Wood from DV Safe Phone said more than 1000 phones had been collected since the initiative started.
“I was shocked to discover how much these phones were needed,” Mr Wood said.
“One of the first things that gets broken or stolen during domestic violence is the victim’s mobile phone, which leaves them powerless.
“It’s amazing to see Sunshine Coast Council come on board. Corporate phones are the easiest to re-use.”
Betty Taylor from Red Rose Foundation said the organisation distributed the phones to service agencies across the Sunshine Coast on behalf of DV Safe Phone.
“We still need to have the conversation about domestic and family violence. The pandemic has raised issues about women being at home with the abuser,” Ms Taylor said.
“People often wonder what they can do to help and say they don’t have that opportunity to intervene directly. Everyone can do something, if that means getting out your old phone and dropping it off, that in itself will make a difference to victims.”
For more information on how you can help DV Safe Phone, including drop-off points, please visit www.dvsafephone.com.au