On Sunday 23 April 2023, the government will be testing their new emergency alert systems and everybody will get an alert. The alarm will go off even if it is on silent with notifications disabled.
That does not sound like much of a problem at first glance; people are always getting notifications on their mobile phone, unless you are a victim of domestic abuse and you have hidden a mobile device in the event of an emergency. It is suggested that the alarm will not sound if the phone is switched off or on airplane mode.
Domestic abuse charities were consulted in relation to this alert and expressed concern surrounding secret or second devices kept by victims in the event of an emergency fleeing abuse.
I previously was a trustee of the East Herts Domestic Abuse Forum for approximately 10 years and various initiatives included the recycling of old mobile phones to give such devices to victims of domestic abuse so that they had access to a device their partner would be unaware of. Often, in a controlling relationship, a victim’s device will be monitored or even removed so these second/secret devices are crucial.
There are various videos on how to turn these alerts off, both on android phones and on iPhones for anyone that is concerned that these alerts will put their safety at risk. Visit ‘Refuge Tech Safety’s‘ website for more information.
Should you require support the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a confidential, free, support and signposting service for anyone affected by domestic abuse.
Olive McCarthy is a Partner, Collaborative Lawyer and Financial Arbitrator with over 25 years’ experience in Family Law.