12.20.2002Corporate

Verizon Wireless Phones Help Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence In Somerset County, New Jersey


Verizon Wireless Phones Help Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence In Somerset County, New Jersey

December 20, 2002
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HILLSBOROUGH, NJ
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Continuing its commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness, Verizon Wireless donated 10 wireless phones to The Resource Center for Women and Their Families, the lead domestic violence agency for Somerset County.


The Resource Center will lend the phones to women at risk throughout the county to carry with them to call for help in an emergency. The phones are pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1 and the center's domestic violence hotline. The Center received 10 phones from the company last year, but additional phones are needed to serve the growing number of women in life-threatening situations.


"Unfortunately, more women are coming to the Center for protection from domestic violence," said Cathy Cummings, executive director for the center. "We've learned having wireless phones in hand allow women to go about their day-to-day lives with less fear. They can go to work and take their children to school secure in the knowledge that if the abuser appears, they can call for help."


Domestic violence prevention and education is Verizon Wireless' chief community focus. Through its signature program, HopeLineSM, the company provides free voicemail boxes and emergency phones to victims residing in shelters and to law enforcement agencies to distribute to women at risk.


"No offense shakes individual security more than violence in the home," said Charles Hand, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region. "At Verizon Wireless, we continue to be humbled by the strength of domestic violence survivors and proud to provide them with resources that can help them rebuild their lives."


In addition to the phones, Verizon Wireless has provided HopeLine voicemail service to the Resource Center for the past six years. The voicemail service acts like an answering machine and allows individuals who do not have access to a personal phone line to receive and retrieve messages from prospective employers, landlords or family members. This service offers shelter residents a vital link to the outside world and acts as a building block to a productive, more secure future.


Through its HopeLine Recycling Program, the company collects used wireless phones to be refurbished, recycled or sold. Proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups or used to purchase phones for victims. As a result of HopeLine and related phone recycling programs the company has organized since 1995, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 850,000 used wireless phones for the benefit of domestic violence victims, including nearly 60,000 wireless handsets in the New York Metro area. Donations are accepted at all 66 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in the New York Metro area. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.


About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 31.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.

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