Bell Atlantic Mobile and the Shelter of Gaston County Team to Prevent Domestic Violence

Bell Atlantic Mobile and the Shelter of Gaston County Team to Prevent Domestic Violence

Wireless phones donated to battered women's shelter

October 29, 1997

Media contacts:

Stacie Nunn Mobley

Bell Atlantic Mobile

(704) 332-2030

Debbie Estes

Gaston County Public Information

(704) 866-3141

Gaston County have joined together to donate victims of domestic

violence four wireless phones to use in reporting emergency


"Victims of domestic violence are vulnerable to threatening

situations just about anywhere -- in their cars, on the street,

even in their homes -- and they often don't have immediate access

to traditional landline phones in such emergencies," said Beth

McNamara, executive director of sales for Bell Atlantic Mobile's

Southeast Region. "But, with wireless technology, we can give

the assurance and the added security of knowing that help is only

a wireless phone call away -- enabling them to go to work, move

about more freely within the community and not worry about being

without help."

McNamara was joined today by Assistant County Manager Tom

McCarthy, Betty Jocobsma of the Gaston County Domestic Violence

Prevention Council and Shelter Director Cathy Barrett to announce

the donation of wireless phones.

The Shelter will administer the program, including training

domestic violence victims in the use of the donated wireless

phones pre-programmed in to dial 9-1-1 and monitoring the use of

the phones. Bell Atlantic Mobile has committed to donating the

wireless phones and airtime.

"The Bell Atlantic Mobile loaner phones will be an invaluable tool in

providing more secure situations for our clients," said Barrett. "The

phones will allow them to travel safely to and from work. And, for

those we are forced to turn away, the phones will provide 24-hour


Able to house up to 20 women and children at any one time, The Shelter

has provided temporary lodgings for 142 women and 132 children during

the first nine months of this year -- numbers greater than the total

for the whole of 1996. This past July, for the first time since the

Shelter's 1995 move to a new facility, it was forced to turn away

victims because of lack of available beds.

Gaston County is the fifth community Bell Atlantic Mobile's Southeast

Region has loaned wireless phones to help prevent domestic violence.

In the last year, after a successful pilot project with the

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Domestic

Violence Unit, Bell Atlantic Mobile's Southeast Region has made

donations of wireless phones and service to domestic violence

organizations in Columbia and Greenville, SC, and Hall County,


"Bell Atlantic Mobile is excited by the successes seen after

phone donations to other domestic violence organizations in the

region," said McNamara. "We look forward to seeing the victims

of domestic violence in Gaston County benefit from today's

donation as well."

Editor's Note:

About Bell Atlantic Mobile: Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest

wireless service provider on the East Coast and second largest in the

United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive

network in the East, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest

chain of wireless retail outlets offering voice, data and paging.

Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 5 million customers

and 7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and,

through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company is the

chief wireless subsidiary of the new Bell Atlantic, formed through the

merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX corporations.

About The Shelter of Gaston County: The Shelter was established in

1982 under the direction of the Gaston County Department of Social

Services. The Shelter has provided a safe, emergency residence to

more than 3,000 women and children since its establishment. Clients

of The Shelter are adults and their minor children in physically

violent or potentially violent situations with abusive husbands,

ex-husbands or boyfriends. This free service -- including counseling,

court advocacy, information and referral, direct services, children's

programs, support group meetings and community education -- is made

possible by county funding and donations from individuals and public

and private organizations. For more information on the Shelter,

please call Cathy Barrett at 704/866-3679.