Embracing technology to keep women and their families safe

I was honoured to represent the TELUS team last week at the launch of a critical initiative to help protect women at high risk of domestic violence. The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC), in partnership with TELUS and SOS Response, has started a pilot project for a new mobile safety app designed to work as a 24/7 mobile, monitored alarm system.

Andrea Goertz (Left to right: Sonya Boyce, Community Based Victim Assistance Program at Surrey Women’s Centre in Surrey, Tracy Porteus, EVA BC, Sam Ciacco, SOS Response; Tory Pearson, EvidencePix Systems; Andrea Goertz, senior vice-president, TELUS Strategic Initiatives, Communications and Government Relations; and Superintendent Paul Richards, Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

We have all heard the tragic stories of women coping with domestic violence; and we know it is a serious issue we must work together to address. This alliance is a wonderful example of how organizations can collaborate and share resources to better protect women and their families, and make communities safer for all citizens.

The SOS Response personal safety app can be downloaded to a smartphone that, when used, automatically sends images, GPS location and other valuable information to a live 24/7 professionally monitored station. With these visuals, trained operators instantly assess and dispatch the response needed to the person’s location.

TELUS was pleased to provide 20 smartphones and the network access for the pilot project, which is slated to run in five B.C. communities: Prince George, Terrace, Vernon, Courtenay and Surrey. We are proud to see this innovative technology being developed and tested in our home province and we look forward to a successful pilot so we can roll out the program and app to even more communities throughout Canada.

Our TELUS team believes that all women and children have the right to protection from violence. Together with our team members and retirees, we have contributed more than $3.5 million dollars since 2000 to fund programs and tools that provide women with the support they need to escape dangerous situations.

I had the privilege of speaking with several representatives from the pilot communities and am encouraged by their hope for the project. Together, we are optimistic that we can enable women to feel safer in their homes, safer in their communities and free to live healthy, productive lives.

Things many of us take for granted.

I believe by leveraging the power of our technology, networks, services and mobile devices, we will help create a better future for women and children in communities across the province who are victims of violence.

All the best,