How Vodafone Ireland Foundation is using technology to help victims of domestic abuse

Overview of the Programme

TecSOS is a service led by Vodafone Ireland Foundation that offers women suffering from domestic violence one touch access to the emergency services. The service is delivered together with Women’s Aid, An Garda Síochana, and BT Emergency Call Answering Service since 2013.

As part of Vodafone’s “Inclusion for All” and “Digital Society” ambitions, our objective is to provide a sense of security and control to domestic violence survivors through specially adapted devices, enabling victims to contact the Gardaí using a speed dial facility. It enhances the normal 112 service as it pre-identifies the victims to the Gardaí who have access to a profile of victim and perpetrator history, assisting in a faster response from the Gardaí.

Our vision throughout has been to provide TecSOS devices to high risk, vulnerable women, and that has remained central over the last 7 years. We measure impacts through active users, total users, and device

Implementing Best Practice

From the beginning, our employees have been incredibly engaged in the TecSOS project. Our technology team provide day-to-day support of the project, and carry out incredibly important work to ensure that both the devices and service are available.

We have been providing funding to Women’s Aid since the beginning of this project, to help in the coordination and support for users. Through Women’s Aid, we have connected with other domestic violence organisations, and relied on expertise to continuously improve the project. Our close partnership with An Garda Siochana has also allowed us to better the service for the users, and ensure our process is continuously updated.

We are committed to increasing TecSOS users within Dublin, and hope to roll it out across the country in the coming years. This will be done through continued work with our partners, and working with new domestic violence services nationwide.

The Impact of the Programme

Since 2013, we have worked closely with Women’s Aid and An Garda Siochana to help survivors of domestic abuse gain a sense of security and control through our TecSOS programme. Since then, nearly 300 women have used the service, and it has given them a way to continue their lives knowing they have a fast response support with them at all times.

Over the course of the project, we have worked with a variety of domestic violence support services, and seen first-hand the impact the service has had on women’s lives. Vodafone employees involved in the project have expressed how working on the project has given them increased purpose and drive in their roles. Intrinsically linked to Vodafone’s purpose to connect for good, we are incredibly proud of the impact we are making on the lives of those availing of TecSOS.

“It improves the feeling of safety and increases their confidence. It allows women to move forward and not to be fearful and in turn this can contribute to their communities in a very positive way.” – Domestic Abuse Advocate

Vodafone’s Impact in 2019

Vodafone provided €515,744 in cash donations; €488,800 was contributed through in-kind donations and €159,349 was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered 1,479 hours to local groups and projects during the year.

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