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Domestic abuse victims warned to turn off phones to avoid UK 'Armageddon' alert

Domestic abuse victims warned to turn off phones to avoid UK 'Armageddon' alert

The UK is testing a new disaster warning alert but there are some people who really need to make sure they don't get it

At 3pm on Sunday 23 April, pretty much everyone in the UK is going to have their phone alert them as part of a test of a new emergency warning system.

Whether your phone is on silent or not, it'll emit a loud sound along with a message telling you the test is taking place and not to worry, a disaster is not actually headed your way.

This alert system is similar to ones other countries have set up to warn people of dangerous events in their area.

It might be a bit startling to some people who aren't expecting it to happen, particularly if they're behind the wheel.

Drivers who will be on the roads at 3pm on this coming Sunday are recommended to find somewhere to pull over to switch off the alarm or to opt-out of the alert ahead of time in the settings on their phone.

However, there's another group of people who could really be put in serious danger by the alarm test, and that's the victims of domestic abuse, who may have a secret phone hidden somewhere in their house.

Pretty much every phone in the UK will sound with an alarm this coming Sunday.
UK Gov

Domestic abuse charities have warned that there's a 'very real risk' to people who live with an abusive partner if their phone alert sounds and the device is discovered.

After consultation with domestic abuse charities, the government has issued guidance letting people know that they shouldn't get the alert at 3pm on Sunday if their phone is switched off or on airplane mode.

The government has said people should follow the advice of the charity Refuge and turn off any phones they've got hidden away from their abusers - to avoid alerting them to the whereabouts of the gadget.

Simply putting your phone onto silent won't do the trick, so it's got to be airplane mode or switched off altogether for the duration of the test.

Domestic abuse charities have warned people to switch off their phones or put them on airplane mode if they don't want the alert.
Islandstock / Alamy Stock Photo

Of course people will also be able to opt-out of receiving any of the alerts by going into their phone's settings and switching off the ability to receive emergency alerts. This could come in handy if the system is further rolled out as people won't know when the next alarm is coming.

The alerts will primarily be used to warn people of extreme weather events which pose a threat to life. They will not be used in certain cases such as a marauding terrorist on the loose, where a person's phone blaring with a warning could give them away and put them in further danger.

Refuge has guidance available for victims of domestic abuse to help them manage their perilous situation in a digital world, which can help people stay safe online and protect their technology from their abuser.

Featured Image Credit: Tero Vesalainen / Alamy Stock Photo / Pixabay

Topics: UK News, Technology, Domestic Abuse