Media Release: Telcos tackle domestic and family violence crisis

Telco industry launches unified action to tackle Australia’s domestic and family violence crisis, led by industry body Telco Together Foundation

  • Australian telcos including OPTUS, TPG Telecom and four other high-profile brands have developed plans to support customers and employees experiencing domestic and family violence
  • 1 in 4 (23% or 2.3 million) women and 1 in 14 (7.3% or 693,000) men have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner since the age of 15.
  • 23% (2.3 million) of women and 14% (1.3 million) of men have experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous partner

Advocates, support services and politicians say Australia is in the midst of a domestic violence crisis.

Australia, Tuesday 7 May 2024: Six of Australia’s biggest telecommunications companies including Optus, TPG Telecom, Telstra, Aussie Broadband, Vocus Group, More, and Tangerine will today report on their Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Action Plans, led by collaborative industry body Telco Together Foundation (TTF). The six members cover 80 per cent of Australia’s telecommunications network, and are part of the wider group of 13 telcos who have committed to delivering DFV action plans as part of the initiative.

The DFV action plans are a result of a two-year supportive process led by Telco Together Foundation, designed to improve the outcome for customers and employees impacted by DFV. Action plans centre on improved support and, within their means, reducing instances of this abuse.

Action plans provide a structured process for any Australian telco, regardless of size or type, to respond to the issue of DFV and to implement an integrated approach to addressing DFV, through policy, strategy, training and greater awareness about technology-facilitated abuse.

The plans are informed by The Domestic and Family Violence Action Framework developed by TTF to ensure telecommunications providers have the knowledge and resources needed to consistently support victims and survivors of DFV and provide assistance when vulnerable people need it the most.

The comprehensive framework puts best-practice systems in place to support the telcos’ customers and employees who may be experiencing domestic and family violence.

The framework was developed following extensive consultation with the Australian government, eSafety, Wesnet, Our Watch, industry organisations such as the Communications Alliance, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and frontline agencies including 1800 RESPECT.

The DFV Action Framework allows all telcos to develop a plan that is right for the size, reach and impact of their organisation, informed by best practice in the industry and led by Telco Together Foundation.

Kristy Kelly, CEO, Telco Together Foundation, said that mobile phone devices and services can be a lifeline for the 23% (2.3 million) women and 14% (1.3 million) men who have experienced emotional abuse by a cohabiting partner since the age of 15, but they can also be tools for control and abuse.

“Telcos are often one of the first ports of call for people experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV). It’s essential that these people have access to services and appropriate privacy measures,” said Kelly.

“The first six telcos who have delivered an action plan are leading the way in providing support to vulnerable customers and seeking to influence the reduction of instances of DFV helping to prevent and ultimately put an end to DFV in Australia.”

“TTF is committed to educating and empowering telecommunications companies to effectively respond to consumers who may be experiencing domestic or family violence,” she said. “By offering support mechanisms for both customers and employees who are affected, TTF with the support of our members, aims to create a safer environment for Australians and reduce instances of DFV throughout the country.”

Michelle Rowland MP, Federal Communications Minister:

“We all have a role to play in addressing the scourge of family and domestic violence.

“It’s encouraging to see Australia’s telco industry taking transparent action to support vulnerable customers.

“I congratulate the Telco Together Foundation on their leadership and look forward to the positive outcomes these action plans will deliver for those in our community in need of support.”

Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner:

“It’s heartening to see more and more organisations step up to the challenge of addressing the scourge of domestic and family violence in the online and digital world.
Our devices are powerful tools for both good and harm: they can be a lifeline to essential support networks and weapons for round-the-clock abuse.

“I commend the important, leading work of the Telco Together Foundation in addressing domestic and family violence for customers and employees alike. Through their DFV Action Plans, member telcos pave the way for preventative, person-centred and holistic responses, which also recognise the unique role of technology in perpetuating this horrific violence. I hope other organisations are emboldened to follow the lead of these telecommunications organisations.”

Michael Venter, Interim CEO and CFO at Optus:

“At Optus, we understand the crucial role telecommunication plays in domestic violence situations, and we recognise the importance of working with industry to achieve better social outcomes. We are committed to providing compassionate and heightened care for customers who may be experiencing domestic or family abuse.”

Mary Glikin, Director Complex and Vulnerable Care at Optus:

“We understand the importance of empathy and flexibility when it comes to supporting our vulnerable customers, which is why we’ve established a dedicated Specialist Care
team for customers facing vulnerability.”

Vanessa Hicks, Group Executive People Experience at TPG Telecom:

“TPG Telecom is committed to playing its role to help those affected by domestic and family violence in Australia. We recognise domestic violence can manifest as emotional, financial, or physical abuse, and are committed to maintaining and improving our processes and support systems to assist those in need.”

Telco Together Foundation welcomes the remaining telecommunications companies to join the fight to end domestic violence by signing up to deliver an action plan. For more information, visit

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About Telco Together Foundation (TTF):
Telco Together Foundation (TTF) is an industry foundation that brings together Australia’s most influential telecommunication companies to collectively tackle some of the nation’s most complex social issues. Founded in 2012, TTF’s 30+ member organisations are responsible for connecting more than 90% of Australian consumers with telecommunications services.

TTF is committed to addressing some of Australia’s most important social challenges, such as domestic violence, modern slavery, and mental health challenges amongst young Australians. By forging strategic partnerships with member organisations and developing dynamic industry initiatives, TTF pioneers best practice frameworks aimed at fostering safe and positive digital experiences that enrich the lives of Australians.

Media contact:
Cameron Magusic
[email protected]
0404 261 974


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