Bell Atlantic Mobile Responds to Call From Local Victims of Domestic Violence
Donation of Wireless Phones Provides Instant Link to Police
June 17, 1998
Lynette Viviani, Bell Atlantic Mobile
Wayne J. Forrest, Somerset County Prosecutor
SOMERVILLE, NJ -- In 1996, over 2,700 cases of domestic violence
were reported to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, a 10 percent
increase over 1995, the highest percent increase in the state. Even more
disturbing, nearly half of all cases statewide in New Jersey, a child was
either present or directly involved in the abuse.
Today, Charles Hand, vice president of retail sales for Bell Atlantic
Mobile's New York/New Jersey Metro region, joined victims' advocates to
present five wireless phones to Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter
S. Palmer and County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest. Palmer and Forrest
accepted the phones on behalf of Somerset County for the use to aid
victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes.
Hand said the phone donation is just one of a series made by Bell Atlantic
Mobile throughout the region as part of the company's "Wireless At
Work"community service program. "The wireless phones donated today
are specially programmed to dial 9-1-1 at the touch of a button," he said.
"It is our hope that these phones will never have to be used to report an
emergency, but if a victim feels threatened, she can rest assured that help
will be on the way."
According to Forrest, one of the most dangerous times for a domestic
violence victim is after the woman has left her abuser. "These phones will
be distributed to crime victims who are considered to be in serious danger
and have court orders of protection against their abusers. In a very real
sense, the phones will serve as a lifeline for victims who fear for their
lives," Forrest said.
"For women who fear for their lives and the lives of their children, dialing
9-1-1 often is their only link to safety," said Hand. "These phones will put
safety in the palm of their hands."
Bell Atlantic Mobile's "Wireless at Work" program uses the company's
wireless technology to help individuals and communities improve security,
emergency communications and enhance quality of life. Since its inception
in 1995, "Wireless at Work" has allowed Bell Atlantic Mobile to give back
to the community by bringing its wireless products and services to various
groups in need throughout the company's service area, from Maine to
northern Georgia. During the past two years, the company has donated
over 400 wireless phones to aid victims of domestic violence living in the
New York/New Jersey area.
Last month, the company donated six phones to the Morris County
Prosecutor's Office to help domestic violence victims in that area. Other
recent Somerset County donation recipients include the Resource Center
for Women and their families which uses Bell Atlantic Mobile HopeLinesm
voicemail service to help victims find jobs, housing and social services.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the
East, covering 112,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail
outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data, and paging. Based in
Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 5.5 million customers and 7,000
employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in
the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service
program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and
communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell
Atlantic Mobile's parent is one of the world's largest wireless
communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and
international investments in Mexico, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. For
more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global
operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.