TecSOS is the Vodafone Foundation’s specially adapted mobile phone which provides support for victims of domestic violence. Developed by the Vodafone Spain Foundation in collaboration with the Spanish Red Cross and the TecSOS Foundation, the handset enables a user to push a central button and activate immediate contact with the emergency services, providing details of the location from the handset and triggering an immediate recording of all activity in the vicinity of the device.
The handset is providing vital protection to victims of domestic abuse in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Ireland and the UK. In Italy TecSOS, known locally as Mobile Angel is aimed at supporting women who have suffered as victims of stalking or domestic abuse.
The handsets have been used by over 36,000 women across 6 European countries. In the UK, it is being used by over 50% of UK police forces with more than 7,000 victims benefiting from the increased security and protection provided by the service. Plans are in place to roll TecSOS out across additional European markets.
How does TecSOS work?
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The handset has been adapted so that victims can contact the emergency services quickly and easily using a simple one push speed dial facility. The phone will covertly alert the victim that it is dialling and when the connection is made.
The call is routed to an emergency services operator. Special technology allows for any activation to be identified as a TecSOS handset and the incoming call immediately brings up the victim’s history on the operator’s screen to save time. In the UK, calls from TecSOS phones are escalated to “immediate” response by the police so they can prioritise resources to the scene. The police are able to identify the caller’s approximate location, to get to the victim as quickly as possible. The call is recorded and this can be used as evidence in any subsequent investigation. In some cases, this evidence is sufficient for the perpetrator to be prosecuted without the victim having to testify in court – an issue which often leads to domestic abuse cases being dropped. TecSOS allows victims the freedom to leave their home and this significantly improves their quality of life.
In the UK TecSOS is unique from all other solutions available due to its direct connectivity to the Police and its integration into the emergency telecoms system.