Telco Industry
Domestic and Family Violence (DFV)
Action Framework

This practical Framework sets an easy to follow pathway for Australian telcos of all sizes and types to better support their customers and employees experiencing DFV. Its four Action Plans are thorough and considered, and respond in detail to challenges faced by telcos and consumers, with practical actions, resources and support.

Following extensive consultation with DFV frontline organisations, telcos and Government, the Framework was formally supported by former Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, former Minister for Families and Social Services and Women’s Safety, and eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

Created by the Industry Impact Hub, an initiative of Telco Together Foundation

In collaboration with Foundation members:
Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom, Vocus Group and Aussie Broadband

Please direct all enquiries to info@telcotogether.org

Register to receive your copy of the DFV Action Framework.

Four Action Plans

The Adapt Action Plan

When planning, at an early stage, or reviewing your DFV Action Plan

Even the most socially responsible telcos have to continuously adapt and evolve to ever-changing environments. The purpose of the Adapt Action Plan is to plan, review or revise your approach to domestic and family violence within the context of your employees, customers, products, services and business strategy.

The Embed Action Plan

When implementing your DFV Action Plan – within your mainstream processes

Telco products and services are sometimes the only opportunity for customers to interact with employees. The Embed Action Plan places DFV victim-survivors at the centre of your products and services. With a DFV lens applied across your business you have a pathway to respond to customers and employees within your standard mainstream processes.

The Tailor Action Plan

When Implementing your DFV Action Plan – tailored to individual circumstances

In some circumstances, a response that is appropriate to one DFV victim-survivor may be harmful to another. The Tailor Action Plan enables a telco to deviate away from its mainstream processes, with support team(s) authorised to provide customers and employees with a customised individualised response.

The Influence Action Plan

When extending your DFV Action Plan, wider than your customers and employees.

As an industry we are unique in that we have direct access to nearly every Australian organisation and consumer. That provides an opportunity for a level of responsibility that goes beyond a telco’s own business. The Influence Action Plan extends your sphere of influence beyond your employees and customer support, to the wider community.

Take the pledge!

Become a signatory to the ‘Telco Industry Domestic and Family Violence Pledge’ and join this collaborative industry effort to tackle domestic and family violence.

The 5 largest telcos have taken the pledge. We are inviting all telcos in Australia to do the same. 

View the pledge here.

I wish to express my endorsement for the Telco Together Foundation's positive leadership in reducing the instances and supporting victims as well as survivors of domestic and family violence (DFV) across Australia.

Telecommunications devices and services can be a lifeline in a situation of DFV, but they can also be tools for control and abuse. As such, it is critical that telecommunication providers and its employees understand the influence they can potentially have on reducing instances of DFV and supporting victims and survivors.

The Hon Paul Fletcher
Former Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts

I support wholeheartedly the Framework and see how it will educate telcos staff and allow telcos to be better equipped to support clients and those people who seek support in your retail stores. Thank you for your strong advocacy for victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence, and I commend the Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan Framework.

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston
Former Minister for Families and Social Services and Women’s Safety

Telcos have the power to make a difference, from supporting customers who are victim-survivors of domestic and family violence, ensuring continuing of service and protection of their privacy, to educating employees and the broader public about technology-facilitated abuse, to embedding user safety and rights in product design.

We all have a role to play here. I am particularly pleased to see that the Action Plan Framework provides a pathway that can support any telco – from big to small – on a journey from ‘starting out’ to ‘leadership’.

Julie Inman Grant
eSafety Commissioner

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman welcomes the launch of the Telco Together Foundation’s Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan Framework. We also welcome the opportunity to be part of the consultation process that allows this work to be realised...

I congratulate the Telco Together Foundation on the publication of this framework and encourage telcos to look deeply at what action they can take to better support consumers impacted by family violence.

Judi Jones
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

I would like to congratulate Telco Together Foundation for your leadership in creating an opportunity for industry wide action against violence against women.

At Our Watch we know that to create an Australia where women and children are safe and equal, everyone has a role and responsibility in addressing what drives violence in our community.

We look forward to working with Telcos and Telco Together Foundation as they bring this action plan to life.

Cara Gleeson
Director, Prevention in Action Our Watch

There’s an epidemic of domestic and family violence in Australia today but it is too often seen as an individual’s problem. It’s a social problem and it will take every level of society to eliminate this unacceptable level of violence in our communities. Telcos play a crucial role in keeping people connected. It is now more vital than ever that Telcos ensure that their customers and employees are supported when they are experiencing violence. Telcos and other businesses also have a strong part to play in leading and influencing societal change to end all forms of gender-based violence.

WESNET warmly welcomes the Telco Industry Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Action Plan Framework which will assist all telcos in developing tailored action plans that can make meaningful change across the sector. The more telcos that take action the better it will be for individuals, families, businesses and the community at large. We all must play our part.

Karen Bentley
CEO, WESNET

FAQs

My organisation is already trained in DFV Awareness and customer support. Will I get anything out of the DFV Action Framework?

Yes. It is great that your organisation has already taken action to support your customers and employees. However, telco-response and employee training is not static. The Framework will help you to keep adapting, to match the changing nature of DFV.

My organisation is very small and doesn’t have many employees, is this Framework for me?

Yes. You have customers and, sadly, some of those customers will be DFV victim-survivors. Through applying the Framework, you will understand more about DFV, its relevance to your customers and our industry. It will help you respond (more) effectively to your customers who are DFV victim-survivors.

Is the Telco Industry DFV Action Framework mandatory for telcos to employ?

No. Instead, it will help your organisation fulfil Government and Industry requirements that are mandatory. The DFV Action Framework assimilates best practice guidance from a diverse group of Government, Industry and DFV Specialist Organisations.

Will the Telco Industry DFV Action Framework be mandatory for telcos to employ?

No. Instead, it will help your organisation fulfil Government and Industry requirements that are mandatory. The DFV Action Framework assimilates best practice guidance from a diverse group of Government, Industry and DFV Specialist Organisations.

I don’t understand why this subject is relevant to telcos in particular, in preference to any other industry?

Domestic and Family Violence is directly relevant to our industry, our products and services, our customers and employees. Telecommunications devices and services can be a lifeline in a situation of domestic and family violence (DFV), but they can also be tools for control and abuse. Telcos are often one of the first ports of call for people experiencing DFV, looking to ensure continuation of service and appropriate privacy measures. It is essential that telcos (strategically) and telco employees (operationally) understand the influence they can potentially have on reducing instances of DFV and supporting victim-survivors. 

When can I get access to the DFV Action Framework?

Now. Please register to receive it.

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