TELCOS ACT TO IMPROVE ASSISTANCE TO THOSE AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Sydney, 5 May 2022 – Communications Alliance is reviewing and improving its industry guideline, Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.

Originally released in 2018 and developed in consultation with both general and specialist consumer groups and government and regulatory agencies, the guideline provides practical, operational-level guidance to retail telecommunications providers (RSPs) as they work to assist and support telecommunications service users impacted by domestic and family violence.

The review aims to update and improve the Guideline, accommodating regulatory change, industry feedback on practical application and training issues, and consumer and other stakeholder feedback on potential gaps, on what is working well, and on any areas for improvement.

Committee Chair, Annie Leahy (TPG Telecom), said: “I am honoured to be chairing the Communications Alliance working group on Domestic and Family Violence. With reported rates of abuse continuing to increase, it is more important than ever for the telecommunications industry to ensure it can appropriately support people impacted by domestic and family violence.

“By providing clear, operational guidance to providers about how to best assist impacted telecommunications service users, the Comms Alliance Guideline helps telecommunications companies to develop and implement systems and processes that support both those experiencing the violence, and the telecommunications customer service staff working to assist those in a domestic and family violence situation.

“The working group is picking up from review work commenced in 2020, which was paused due to COVID. Input received as part of that review will be considered, and we are looking to further engage with these and other stakeholders as this review progresses.”

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said: “This is vital work, and our members are collaborating well with other stakeholders to help ensure industry can appropriately support and help to protect those experiencing family and domestic violence.

“The Guideline was always intended to be a living document, representing a starting point for industry as it learns how to best support this vulnerable group and the staff assisting them to manage this complex and traumatic issue.

The 2018 Communications Alliance Assisting Customers Experiencing Domestic and Family Violence Guideline is publicly available here.

Working group participants include: Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, Foxtel, Optus, Pivotel, Telstra, TPG Telecom and Vocus Group.

Consumer groups and other stakeholders wishing to engage with Communications Alliance on this issue should contact Peppi Wilson, Manager Policy and Regulatory, Communications Alliance – p.wilson@commsalliance.com.au

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.  To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Neeley Williams nwilliams@sefiani.com.au
0434 742 551