UK emergency alert test 23 April 2023 has implications for victims of domestic abuse

Megan Bennie


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April 17, 2023

Categories Family Law

The UK government is in the final stages of planning for a countrywide emergency alert system that will cause all operational phones to play a sound and vibrate where there is a widespread and life-threatening emergency.  As part of this planning, there will be a test alert sent at 3pm on Sunday, 23 April 2023.

The fact this will affect all phones, including those switched to silent, has caused concern for domestic abuse campaign groups. Victims of abusive or controlling behaviour sometimes have a secret phone their partner is not aware of, so they can call for help or keep in contact with loved ones when their other means of communication are monitored.

The alert will be sent to all phones, whether they are contract or pay as you go, and will sound loudly even if the phone is switched to silent. Anyone with a phone they would not want to sound and potentially be detected by other people is being encouraged to SWITCH OFF THEIR PHONE COMPLETELY  in advance of the test at 3pm on 23 April 2023.

The public are being encouraged to share news of the test alert and to exercise caution when the alert is due to sound, for example if they are driving.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can take many forms, not just violence. The definition of abuse was recently widened to be clear that abuse can also be emotional, sexual, financial or involve coercive and controlling behaviour. The means by which abuse can take place may be overt or it may be far more subtle so that family and friends might not even realise it is taking place.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can speak to one of our solicitors in complete confidence about the various protections available in the law. Furley Page’s family law team are all members of Resolution, and adhere to its code of practice for family lawyers which encourages us to support our clients in a sensitive and constructive way.  Telephone 01227 76393 to speak to a member of the team.

About Emergency Alerts

You can find out more about the Government’s emergency alert test here: