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How the emergency alert service could impact domestic abuse survivors

Written by

Carole Hack

Published on

April 21, 2023

Woman on a mobile phone

Many of you will be aware of the national test of the Emergency Alert Service this weekend. At 3pm on Sunday 23rd April, the emergency alert service will send out a test alert to all mobile phones. Although the primary objective is to send these messages to mobile phones in life-threatening emergency situations, domestic abuse charities have expressed serious concerns around these types of alerts. This is because even if a mobile phone is left on silent, the sound of the alert will highlight to an abuser that a domestic abuse victim has a concealed or secondary phone.

The government has admitted the emergency test on Sunday could put those in an abusive relationship at risk. Mobile phones or tablets do not have to be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi to get alerts.
The government has issued guidance after consulting with Domestic Abuse charities on how to opt-out of the emergency alerts. Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse is encouraged to manage these alerts to ensure that they remain safe.

On an iPhone:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Notifications
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find “Extreme Alerts” and “Severe Alerts” which can be turned off.

On an Android phone:

  1. Open settings
  2. Tap Notifications
  3. Wireless Emergency Alerts and turn off.

For further advice go to the government’s website.
The Charity Refuge have put together two videos on how to turn these alerts off if anyone is concerned that these alerts will put their safety at risk.

Useful links

Need help now? Call us on 020 8771 5254 and ask to speak to Estella Newbold-Brown or Carole Hack

Domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, is unacceptable in any relationship and no one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home. At Amphlett Lissimore, we have people you can talk to in complete confidence. We understand the feelings and concerns you may have and make it our priority to support and help you through this difficult time.

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