Local workspace provider WOTSO in Newcastle West has partnered with the DV Safe Phone charity, facilitating phone access for victims of domestic violence.

WOTSO Newcastle is now just one of 19 collections points for DV Safe Phone. Photo: Supplied

Each of WOTSO’s 19 sites nationally, including WOTSO’s Newcastle West location, will have a collection point that can safely store phones and cables while also sharing information about the work of the DV Safe Phone charity.

The initiative operates with the aim to significantly increase the collection of used or unwanted working mobile phones to be repurposed and given to victims of domestic violence. 

Joint Managing Director of WOTSO, Jessie Glew, believes that the partnership will be far-reaching.

“WOTSO is home to hundreds of Australian businesses, and each of those businesses will have old phones at some stage of their business lifecycle,” Glew said.

“We hope by being a collection point for DV Safe Phones, we lift the awareness around domestic violence whilst also helping victims get a vital piece of infrastructure.”

In a media release on February 16, DV Safe Phone and WOTSO advised that they have a shared commitment to offer innovative solutions to community challenges and a desire to help victims of abuse and domestic violence access crisis support.

Established in response to COVID-19 lockdowns, DV Safe Phone collects, repurposes and gifts mobile devices to victims of domestic violence and distributes them to victims through partnerships with registered charities, safe houses, and law enforcement authorities who serve the vulnerable community daily.

DV Safe Phone collects, repurposes and  gifts mobile devices to victims of domestic violence. Photo supplied.

To date, the charity has provided over 1,805 safe phones to victims, enabling them to access help when in danger.

DV Safe Phone Founder and CEO Ashton Wood explained that DV Safe Phone offers a practical and easy way to assist vulnerable men and women in the community.

‘’I remember being shocked and overwhelmed to learn that there are over two million known victims of domestic violence in Australia,” Wood said.

“Phones are often the first thing smashed, taken, or monitored by a perpetrator, leaving victims with no way to signal for support and help.

“Behind every statistic is a life at risk, and DV Safe Phone’s vision is to get a safe phone into the hands of every victim in need.

“This is a Goliath challenge that can only be achieved through strong community partnerships with like-minded organisations, like WOTSO.”

As well as giving unwanted phones, people can also donate funds via WOTSO, with all funds being used to cover the cost of phone processing, repairs, and phone credit.