Vodafone Hungary introduced its “Vodafone for women's security” programme during a conference dedicated to mobile technology use in the service of more effective police intervention in cases of domestic violence. The programme uses a new mobile technology development and it is a result of cooperation between national and international experts, a non-governmental organisation and the Budapest police.

In Hungary, every fifth woman will experience intimate partner violence during her lifetime. This impacts negatively on her physical and mental health, her economic situation and her chances in the labour market. Violence in intimate relationships, therefore, always endangers the welfare of the children living in such a family. A research study carried out in Hungary recently showed that there are at least ten times as many women seeking help from the police, as there are police files opened on such cases.

On June 9, 2011, Vodafone Hungary hosted a conference which gave an insight into current approaches on effective intervention in intimate partner violence cases in Europe using mobile technology. Besides Hungarian experts, John Liversidge, the recently retired Chief Superintendent from Thames Valley Police, and Julián Andújar Pérez, representative of the Spanish Red Cross, introduced similar systems operating in their countries and talked about the experiences collected so far.

From June 2011, Vodafone will implement a pilot programme which will make use of 30 devices that will send an alarm and the exact position of the woman in danger through Vodafone's network, with the help of NANE Women's Rights Association and the cooperation of the 11th district Police Unit of Budapest. The women affected by some form of intimate relationship violence can expect swifter police response as a result of the device. The technical development and the dispatch system development have been commissioned to two Hungarian companies: Top Cop Security Zrt. and iData IT Engineering Office Ltd.

Police lieutenant Erika Katona (Budapest Police Headquarters, Crime Prevention Unit) confirmed that “once the alarm has been activated, police will appear at the scene without a need to pre-evaluate the situation, as they will have more information on the particular situation than previously available, including data on the user of the device and her exact position. This will enable an exceptionally quick police response. Apart from the effective help the device represents in case of external intervention, the mere existence of the system may be a restraining factor.”

The “Vodafone for women's security” programme has been initiated by Vodafone Hungary, and the company is also responsible for the technical and financial support of the programme. NANE Women's Rights Association is responsible for the methodological coordination and it will provide two two-day training courses to selected officers in the Budapest police force and staff members of the security firm's communication center, based on international best practice and taking into account the legal and institutional environment in Hungary.

Mr. Gábor Intődy, Head of Social Responsibility at Vodafone Hungary, stated: “Our main aim is to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable and effective programme that increases the safety of women at risk. Our initiative enables a joint effort by experts of a non-governmental organisation, Hungarian technological innovators and Vodafone Hungary staff's special know-how that is put to the service of the project.”

Ms. Györgyi Tóth, chair of NANE Women's Rights Association, stressed that “the introduction of this programme provides a chance for more intensive cooperation between NGOs working for the safety of women and children, and the police. Furthermore, the programme sends an important message to the public and to decision makers: domestic violence endangers the physical and psychological health, and often the very life of battered women and their children. Protecting the right to life, physical integrity and health is a responsibility we all share, and an obligation of the state."

Further information:

Ms. Katalin Kovács  - Vodafone Hungary - sajto@vodafone.hu

Ms. Györgyi Tóth - NANE Women's Rights Association - tothgy@nane.hu