The Federal Communications Commission is taking efforts to assist domestic abuse survivors in leaving their spouses’ phone plans now that the Safe Connections Act (SCA) has become law. The government has proposed guidelines that would mandate carriers separate the line for a survivor within two working days of a request. Another suggestion would make carriers conceal interaction with abuse hotlines from call and text records visible to consumers.
The FCC also plans to utilise the Lifeline or Affordable Connectivity Program to provide financial assistance to survivors for up to six months. Additionally, providers are collaborating with the National Domestic Violence Helpline to ensure that survivors exiting a family plan are connected with someone who can give assistance from abuse professionals.
The ideas are now out for public discussion and may be changed before they go into effect, as required by the SCA. But, as they stand, the regulations potentially offer survivors with more protection when fleeing abusive situations. They may immediately abandon an abuser’s scheme and will be less susceptible if they phone a help line or need financial assistance to remain connected. This, in turn, may assist them in regaining independence while maintaining contact with supporting friends and family members.