C9 Communications signs the Telco Industry Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Pledge, taking action to tackle this complex social issue

Jun 23, 2022 | Blog


Telcos Take Action against Domestic and Family Violence

In the past six weeks, 17 telco service providers, whose stakeholders comprise over 70% of Australia’s telecommunications consumers and the majority of the industry’s employees, have taken action against domestic and family violence (DFV).  
Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom, Vocus Group and Aussie Broadband worked collaboratively with Telco Together Foundation as part of the Industry Impact Hub to develop the Action Framework, released to the industry in April 2022. They have been joined by ATN/Axicom, Uniti, More Telecom, Tangerine Telecom, C9 Communications, Globe Telcom, Corp Centre, Emutel, Hungry Lab, Lightning Broadband, Multipli and Real World Technology Solutions.  Other telcos are in the process of joining this group.

The CEOs of these telcos have signed the Telco Industry DFV Pledge, to continuously improve their support of customers and employees who are either DFV victim-survivors or are supporting someone who is.  This commitment includes their creation of a DFV Action Plan using the Telco Industry DFV Action Framework to inform their approach. 

Telco Together Foundation Executive Director Renee Bowker explained the motivation behind the development of the Framework. “Telcos are often one of the first ports of call for people experiencing DFV, looking to ensure continuation of service and appropriate privacy measures.  This complex insidious social issue is often not visible, and technology-facilitated abuse is ever-adapting.  It is essential that telcos and their employees understand the influence they can potentially have on reducing instances of DFV and supporting victims and survivors.

“It was important for us to acknowledge and reference the extensive work already done in this area by Communications Alliance, eSafety, the TIO, Wesnet and others, but to add a framework that make it easier for telcos of any size to be able to understand the difference they can make in this important issue.” Ms Bowker continued.

General Manager Warren Sainsbury explained the collaborative approach of the Foundation’s Impact Hub.  “Our members are unanimous that industry-wide approaches can be undertaken to create positive leadership to support victim-survivors and reduce incidents of domestic and family violence.  This DFV Action Framework is the result of two years collaboration, consultation and research, to arrive at a tool that provides support to telcos, their customers and employees”.

Developing an Action Plan is one of four commitments the CEO of each company has made through signing the DFV Pledge. The other three being: dedicating resources, continuing to learn and review (particularly in relation to technology-facilitated-abuse) and collaborating, to further build best practice.

The DFV Action Framework brings together guidance and expertise from Government, industry and DFV front-line agencies, into one practical and easy to follow process for continually improving support for customer and employee DFV victim-survivors. This is the first time there has been an industry-wide Framework such as this in Australia.

The Adapt, Embed, Tailor and Influence Action Plan templates within the Framework enable telcos across Australia to better-support their customers and employees regardless of the telco’s current knowledge of the subject, company size or business structure. 

The Framework has been welcomed by many, including former Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher and Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, former Minister for Families and Social Services and Women’s Safety.  The eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, the Telecommunications Ombudsman Judi Jones, Wesnet, Our Watch and others have also expressed their support – in addition to telecommunication service providers themselves. 


  • The Industry Impact Hub is an initiative of the Telco Together Foundation, where complex social issues of relevance to the industry and our communities are collaboratively discussed, addressed and actioned.
  • The DFV Action Framework consists of four action plans relevant to any telco regardless of size or resources. The content assimilates guidance from a wide range of organisations and pulls it together into an easy to follow model for adoption organisation-wide.
  • The industry’s collaborative approach has included structured consultation with Government, Industry Organisations, frontline DFV service providers and smaller telcos to ensure the industry Framework meets its objective of delivering benefit to telco customers and employees who may be DFV victim-survivors. This consultation has included discussions with DSS Family Safety Branch, ACCAN, eSafety, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, 1800RESPECT, amongst other key stakeholders. 
  • Industry Impact Hub/Domestic and Family Violence
Related Links: C9 Communications

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