The Federal Communications Commission is expected to pass new regulations Wednesday designed to make cellphones more useful tools for domestic violence survivors who are trying to escape dangerous situations.
The FCC will meet in order to review the final rules of the Safe Connections Act, which was first initiated in 2022, and will require telecommunications companies to adopt three programs designed for victims of domestic violence and other similar crimes.
Those programs are removal from family billing plans within two business days upon request, low-cost emergency phone replacements for domestic violence victims, and cloaking call and text logs to domestic violence hotlines and shelters.
“Reliable, safe, and affordable connectivity is critical to survivors in or leaving a relationship involving domestic violence, human trafficking, and other related crimes or abuse,” the FCC stated in a release on the act from February. “This connectivity can assist survivors in leaving their abusers and finding and maintaining contact with family, social safety networks, and support services.”
FCC to bring back Net Neutrality
Almost all domestic violence survivors have experienced financial abuse, and three out of four stated that they stayed longer because of it, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline . In addition, financial abuse was an issue mentioned by nearly 1 in 3 survivors who contact the hotline in 2022.
FreeFrom , a company whose team is made up of domestic violence survivors, opened its second round of applications for its Safety Fund, giving grants of up to $250 to 2,163 survivors in 49 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. They distributed a total of $534,000.
Of survivors who received funds, 41.4 percent were Hispanic or Latina, 31.9 percent were Black, 11.8 percent Indigenous, 59.1 percent LGBTQ +, 34.5 percent transgender , 23.7 percent immigrant, and 56.5 percent disabled.
While disbursing safety funds, FreeFrom found that 92.3 percent of survivors reported being subjected to economic abuse and that survivors reported an average of $10,120 in abuse-related costs.A new phone and cellular plan, which is now supported by the FCC, is most often the first step on a new path forward for domestic violence survivors.
- Angelina Jolie Says Racial Disparity in Health Care ‘Endangered’ Her Children ›
- Sex Trafficking Mainly Takes Place in Hotels ›
- Rick and Morty Co-Creator Justin Roiland Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges ›
- How Climate Change Leaves Women at Risk of Domestic Violence ›
- Sean 'Diddy' Combs Sued For Rape and Abuse by Ex-Girlfriend ›