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Used phones dials up help for domestic violence victims

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Old, unused phones donated by local residents will help domestic violence victims connect to the people and services they need most under a new charity partnership with Lake Macquarie City Council.

Manager community partnerships Andrew Bryant said the organisation had joined forces with DV Safe Phone, a registered charity that collects, repairs and hands out free mobile phones to DV survivors across Australia.

“So many of us have old phones tucked away in bedside drawers or wherever else,” he said.

“This initiative gives those phones a second life and people in very traumatic situations some much-needed assistance.”

The campaign launch coincides with this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

Council and Zonta Club of Hunter Newcastle marked the campaign with a tree yarn bombing display at Warners Bay.

Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser said ending gender violence was everyone’s responsibility.

“Local government plays a key role in promoting healthy and safe local environments,” she said.

“We are well-placed to promote awareness and education about domestic violence.

“I’m proud of the many amazing people and organisations in our community working tirelessly to stamp it out.”

Phone drop-off points will be in place at Morisset Multi-purpose Centre, Cameron Park Community Centre, Charlestown Library and Swansea Library.

In Australia on average, a woman is killed every nine days in acts of domestic violence.

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data shows there were more than 800 reported domestic violence incidents in Lake Macquarie, but experts say the true number is likely much higher in all local government areas because many cases go unreported.

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