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SmartSafe began as a research project in 2012-2013.

This project, funded by Victoria Legal Aid, focused on how perpetrators were using technology to stalk and abuse women in the context of family violence. It included surveys with sector workers and victim survivors, focus groups, and interviews.

As a result of this research, we developed a training course and resources, including how-to videos and Easy Guides. SmartSafe later expanded to include a suite of technology safety tools including a website, smartphone app, annual survey and other research projects.

In 2015, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) funded the ReCharge: Women’s Technology Safety project. This project included the following:

  • WESNET developed and presented a series of webinars for practitioners working with women experiencing technology abuse.
  • Women’s Legal Service NSW developed a range of legal guides about relevant state and territory laws relating to technology abuse.
  • DVRCV conducted the first national survey of family violence practitioners to understand the overlap between family violence and technology-facilitated abuse.

For more information and to access the report, visit WESNET.

In 2019, the SmartSafe+ website and app were re-developed into a web and mobile app called Arc.

The Arc app enables people to gather information and evidence to tell their story and understand their experience. Every story has an arc, each entry in Arc adds to the bigger picture and can help identify patterns of behaviour that can support victim survivors to be believed and their experiences of abuse understood.


With the Safe and Equal monthly bulletin