To begin Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, trailblazing Sunshine Coast organization DV Safe Phone is partnering with Small Steps 4 Hannah to launch The HALT Map – the first Google mapping tool for victims of domestic violence to find the care and support they require in their time of need.
At a small business breakfast hosted by the Kawana Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday 3 May, attendees heard how this revolutionary project will assist in victims of domestic violence with hundreds of front line agencies, charities and safe houses across Australia – including accessing a DV Safe Phone.
DV Safe Phone founder and chief executive officer, Ashton Wood explained The HALT Map was an idea formed with Hannah Clarke’s parents, Sue and Lloyd Clarke who set up their own charity organization – Small Steps 4 Hannah – when their daughter and three grandchildren tragically lost their lives on February 19, 2020.
“The naming of The HALT Map pays homage to Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey (HALT) and DV Safe Phone is honored to play a small part in helping Hannah and the children’s legacy shine bright through the lives of those who benefit from this project ,” Mr Wood said.
“The HALT Map addresses the absence of a central location where victims can reach out directly for help to find a DV Safe Phone or other support services near them.”
“This Google mapping system allows people to find an approved DV Safe Phone distributor by simply navigating the interactive mapping tool and either zooming into a location, or by clicking to expand the map and select a pin to reveal an agency’s public contact details.”
The site will initially link to more than 50 front line agencies nationally, that have so far distributed more than 2000 safe phones on behalf of DV Safe Phone. These organizations may also provide crisis care or support hotlines where victims can make that all important first call for help and develop a safe plan or escape plan.
The HALT Map was made possible with seed funding provided by the Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation community grant program.
“Small Steps 4 Hannah saw that there was a real gap in delivery of service and we have been delighted to work together with Ashton and the DV Safe Phone team to assist in a practical and simple way of helping victims access emergency and crisis care support, Lloyd Clarke said.
“We believe the delivery of safe phones directly into the hands of our most vulnerable is a game-changer in attempting to stop this cycle of abuse.”
In addition to The Halt Map being launched, DV Safe Phone also announced their One Phone, One Life campaign for the month of May, encouraging people donate phones to collect points across the country.
DV Safe Phone also invited all authorized agencies offering front line domestic violence support services in need of safe phones for their clients, to become part of the national network of DV Safe Phone distributors available via the mapping tool.
To find out more about The HALT Map, how to donate phones or to become an authorised distribution agent for DV Safe Phones, visit dvsafephone.org