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Press Releases

Lisbon, March 7th 2019

Vodafone Foundation and Vodafone Group launch initiatives to fight domestic abuses

  • Vodafone Group’s Foundation announces international expansion of an App that supports victims of domestic violence and abuses
  • International study promoted by Vodafone Group’s Foundation reveals how domestic violence impacts the victims in their workplace
  • In line with the initiatives promoted by the Foundation, which are directed for the Community, Vodafone Group announces its commitment with supporting Employees who are victims of domestic abuses through the approval of a new Human Resources policy

Vodafone Group’s Foundation and Vodafone Group announce two new initiatives to contribute for the fight against domestic violence.

In the field of Community, the Group’s Foundation announces the international expansion of Bright Sky, a free App that supports the victims of domestic abuses, allowing these people to register incidents in a completely safe digital journal in an easy way, as well as acquiring useful information and advices from entities specialized in supporting victims.

In parallel, and in total alignment with the work developed by the Vodafone Foundation, the Group announces its commitment in implementing a new Human Resources policy, specifically designed to support the victims of domestic and other kinds of abuses in all the 25 countries that comprise the Vodafone Group. These Vodafone Employees will now have access to a support and advising specialized program, and will receive a paid leave of until 10 days, regardless of the part of the world where they are located.

At the same time, Vodafone will provide its Human Resources with the training that is necessary to support the Employees that are victims of domestic abuses.

This is not the first time the Group launches initiatives of this nature at a global scale. Amongst all the initiatives adopted, an example is the launching of the largest recruitment program for women that interrupted their careers all around the world – ReConnect. This pioneer global initiative allows for an increase in the number of women in management positions, contributing to the promotion of gender equality.

“Giving access and creating opportunities for all, removing barriers that prevent inclusion, is part of Vodafone’s purpose. Vodafone developed many programs for Clients and Employees, as did Vodafone Portugal Foundation for the Community as a whole. The Bright Sky App and the new Human Resources policy that supports domestic violence are the two most recent and distinctive initiatives that entered our strategy for diversity and inclusion. This is another step forward to reach our goal of being one of the best companies to work at, where everyone actually feels good”, mentions Luísa Pestana, Human Resources Director at Vodafone Portugal and Chairman of the Executive Committee at Vodafone Portugal Foundation .

Bright Sky

Bright Sky is a free app that allows users to trace quickly and intuitively the closest help center through an automatic research of the geographical area, zip code or current location.

The App also provides a short survey that helps users evaluate the safety of their relationship, as well as providing information about different ways of abuse, the many kinds of support available, the steps to consider when finishing an abusive relationship and advices to help friends that are victims of domestic violence.

Another highlight of the Bright Sky App is the possibility to register the domestic violence incidents without recording any content in the smartphone. The users can register the incidents in a completely safe digital journal through text, audio, video or photo. The proof that is gathered through this feature may allow the police forces to act, playing an important role in the eventual developments of the judicial proceedings.

After the United Kingdom, Portugal will be one of the first markets to launch this App, along with Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Malta and Romania. In the national market, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation will work with local partners to adapt the App’s content to the reality in Portugal. The App’s Portuguese version will be available for download during the next months.

Available in the UK since April 2018, Bright Sky was already downloaded more than 10 thousand times. This initiative is the outcome of over a decade of work at Group Vodafone’s Foundation in order to develop mobile services to support the victims of domestic violence. The development of the TecSOS technology, which helped more than 100 thousand potential domestic violence victims in five different countries, is an example of another project implemented in the past years.

Building on Vodafone Foundation’s work with the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse in the UK, the Foundation commissioned a study by Opinium, a market research consultancy, to assess the impact of domestic violence and abuse on people’s work-life and career. The study surveyed 4,715 working women and men across nine countries (UK, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, Kenya, India, Italy and Spain).

The research found:

  • 37% of respondents had experienced domestic violence and abuse in some form.
  • 67% of respondents that had experienced domestic violence and abuse said that the abuse affected their career progression.
  • 51% of respondents that had experienced domestic violence and abuse felt too ashamed to discuss their abuse at work.
  •  When employees do discuss their abuse at work, 53% said that positive things happened as a consequence.
  • 33% said that an app that people can download to access help and support would help reduce the impact of domestic violence on the work lives of employees.