Bell Atlantic Mobile Helps Victims of Domestic Violence Through Statewide Donation to Shelters
Provides Confidential Voice Mail System and 40 Cellular Phones
November 12, 1997
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Recognizing the
emotional and economic toll that domestic violence takes on
Connecticut's private and corporate citizens, Bell Atlantic Mobile
today announced the launch of a statewide program in conjunction with
the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV).
Victims of abuse will benefit from Bell Atlantic Mobile's
"HopeLine(R)," a confidential voice mail system. The HopeLine
service was donated to all 18 domestic violence shelters throughout
the state and allows women to give out a confidential telephone
number -- rather than the shelter's number -- as they seek
employment or housing. Bell Atlantic Mobile also donated 40
cellular phones to CCADV to be used in conjunction with the
"Our business is about helping people communicate anytime,
anywhere, and for women who are trying to safeguard themselves
against an abuser -- communication takes on an even greater
significance," said Jack Plating, Bell Atlantic Mobile's president
of the Northeast Region, at a press conference held today at the
"Typically the only option is a pay phone that can go unanswered
or is constantly in use," added Plating. "And listing a shelter
phone number on a job application can create an uneven playing
field. HopeLine service helps eliminate the perceived stigma of
living in a shelter."
In comments today, Linda J. Cimino, executive director of the
CCADV, said: "A shelter is only the first step for women seeking to
escape abusive relationships. Housing and employment are two key
elements of a woman's journey to safety. However, many employers
and landlords are reluctant to offer a job or an apartment to a
woman living in a shelter. HopeLine is opening up a communications
avenue toward independence for these women and their children."
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, also in attendance, said,
"This program enables victims to start anew and put their lives back
together with confidence that confidentiality will be safeguarded.
In 1996, the 18 community-based domestic violence shelter programs
provided 906 women and 1,295 children with emergency shelter.
HopeLine will aid these victims to escape abuse and begin
productive, safe and peaceful lives."
HopeLine was first introduced in 1993 in the Northeast and
geared toward the homeless population. It quickly became apparent
to Bell Atlantic Mobile that the service was also ideal for domestic
violence victims and anyone else forced to reside in a shelter due
to circumstances beyond their control.
As domestic violence shelters continue to face an increased
demand for services, they look to corporations not only for funding
but for innovative solutions to their residents' needs. With
HopeLine, Bell Atlantic Mobile uses their wireless network to
provide domestic violence victims and others the vital link they
need to the community.
HopeLine has helped more than 4,400 people this year. Of these,
nearly 1,000 retained a permanent place to live and more than 600
found jobs. Another 175 used the service for resolving healthcare
Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on
the East Coast and the 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 a full range of wireless personal
communications services, including voice data and paging. Based in
Bedminster, N.J., Bell Atlantic Mobile has five 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.