Safe Homes And Bell Atlantic Mobile Team Up To Prevent Domestic Violence

Safe Homes And Bell Atlantic Mobile Team Up To Prevent Domestic Violence

Wireless phones and voice mail box service donated
to SAFE Homes' shelter in Spartanburg

July 22, 1998

Media contact:

Julie Horton, 864-271-0500

SAFE Homes

Lynn Hawkins, 864-583-9803

SPARTANBURG, SC -- SAFE Homes and Bell Atlantic Mobile have
joined together to donate five wireless phones to victims of domestic
violence for reporting emergency situations.

"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 Jerry Fountain, Bell Atlantic Mobile vice president
-- 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."

Fountain was joined today by Lynn Hawkins, SAFE Homes' executive
director, to announce the donation of cellular phones to SAFE Homes.
SAFE Homes is the fifth organization to receive loaned cellular phones to
help in the prevention of domestic violence.

The donation of the five wireless phones is part of an ongoing program
called "Wireless at Work...". The company has already donated cellular
phones and service to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's
Domestic Violence Section in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Hall County
Solicitor's Office in Georgia, Sistercare, Inc. in Columbia, South Carolina,
and Safe Harbor women's shelter in Greenville, South Carolina.

In addition to the donation of wireless phones, Bell Atlantic Mobile will
also provide SAFE Homes with free voice mail boxes as part of the
company's HopeLine® charitable initiative. HopeLine gives individuals,
primarily homeless and domestic violence victims, who do not have access
to a personal phone line a single point of contact for communicating with
prospective employers and landlords, child and health care providers and
family members.

SAFE Homes will administer both programs, including training domestic
violence victims in the use of wireless phones and voice mail boxes, as well
as monitoring the use of both services. Bell Atlantic Mobile has committed
to donating the wireless phones, airtime and voice mail services.

The HopeLine® and "Wireless at Work..." initiatives are part of Bell
Atlantic Mobile's corporate commitment to increasing the number of phones,
voice mail boxes and airtime that it donates to community organizations.
This year the company has earmarked $100,000 to continue to help domestic
violence victims by providing wireless technology solutions. In addition,
Bell Atlantic Mobile has pledged $10,000 to the Family Violence Prevention
Fund, one of the nation's leading organizations working to improve health,
judicial and public policy responses to domestic violence.

"The Bell Atlantic Mobile loaner phones and voice mail box services are an
enormous tool in providing more secure situations for our clients," said
Lynn Hawkins. "The most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim
is when she has left her abuser. Even with protective orders and bond
conditions, the victim is at risk. It is so easy for abusers to disable regular
telephones; these wireless phones provide both a portable and tamper-
proof lifeline."

SAFE Homes provides a safe place for victims of domestic violence and
sexual violence to receive assistance, advocacy, crisis counseling and
emergency shelter. In 1997, the organization provided over 4,014 Upstate
families with domestic violence services. Additionally, SAFE Homes has a
current volunteer base of over 400 people, who helped provide 19,740
total hours of service last year.

"Domestic violence victims often feel alone and appreciate any tools that
help them stay connected to the outside world. We are certain the wireless
phones will add a sense of security to those victims in danger," said
Hawkins. "It's a true comfort to battered women knowing that help is only
a phone call away no matter where they are."