Cellular Customers Now Have Direct Link To National Domestic Violence Hotline

Cellular Customers Now Have Direct Link To National Domestic Violence Hotline

Bell Atlantic Mobile's *HOPE Feature Gives Victims Immediate Access to Help

October 1, 1998

Media contact: Andrea Linskey, (908) 306-7845
Jim Gerace, (908) 306-7508

BEDMINSTER, NJ -- Bell Atlantic Mobile is the first wireless carrier to introduce a toll-and airtime-free link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, allowing users to simply dial *HOPE from their wireless phones to reach the hotline. This feature ensures fast and easy access for Bell Atlantic Mobile customers in abusive situations to obtain advice at anytime when calling from anywhere in the company's Maine to Georgia footprint. With this new feature, Bell Atlantic Mobile is once again leading the corporate charge in the fight against domestic violence.

Customers will be alerted of the *HOPE feature via a bill message during the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The hotline can also be reached by dialing 1-800-799-SAFE from any phone.

As part of its ongoing relationship with the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Bell Atlantic Mobile will also provide customers at its 200 Communications Stores, as well as its 7,000 employees, awareness cards featuring tips on how women can protect themselves from an abuser.

"We greatly value Bell Atlantic Mobile's commitment to victims of domestic violence with the establishment of their *HOPE link to our National Hotline," said Cindy Perkins, executive director of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. "Since women who fear abuse often cannot seek assistance from their home phone because it has been turned off or because their conversations are monitored, this cell phone link is a wonderful tool."

"At Bell Atlantic Mobile, we have concentrated our philanthropic efforts on domestic violence in the hope that by educating employees, and by providing essential tools to those who are in the position to assist victims, we can better recognize the symptoms and play an active role in both the domestic violence prevention and life rebuilding processes," said Denny Strigl, group president and CEO, Bell Atlantic Global Wireless. "With October designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, now is the opportune time to focus on how we can all make a difference."

Bell Atlantic Mobile's dedication to assist victims of domestic violence is reflected in a number of company sponsored events and donations during the month of October, bringing domestic violence awareness closer to home in the regional areas it serves.

Throughout its service area, Bell Atlantic Mobile is working with a number of organizations this month. These include:

  • Alle-Kiski Hope Center of Tarentum (Pennsylvania)
  • Boston City Hospital
  • Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • District of Columbia
  • Employers Against Domestic Violence (Massachusetts)
  • Family Violence Prevention Fund
  • Governor's Commission Against Domestic Violence (Massachusetts)
  • Manhattan District Attorney's Office
  • Md. Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention, Violence Against Women
  • Massachusetts Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Men for Change (North Carolina)
  • Meriden Domestic Violence Shelter (Connecticut)
  • New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women
  • New Jersey Department of Human Services
  • New Jersey State Police
  • New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
  • Philadelphia Police Department's Domestic Violence Unit
  • Philadelphia Stop Domestic Violence
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • St. Raphael Hospital (New Haven, CT)
  • Shelter for Battered Women (North Carolina)
  • Silent Witness Program (New Jersey)
  • Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Volunteers Against Abuse Center (Butler County, PA)
  • Westchester (New York) District Attorney's Office
  • Womansplace (McKeesport, PA)
  • Women Against Abuse (Philadelphia)
  • Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Working Wardrobe (Philadelphia)
  • YWCA of Wilmington, Delaware

Since 1995, Bell Atlantic Mobile has focused its philanthropic efforts, under the "Wireless at Work..." community service program, on assisting victims of domestic violence by utilizing the company's resources and technology in a variety of ways. These include its HopeLine program, which provides free voice mail boxes to victims residing in shelters, and donations of pre-programmed wireless 9-1-1 phones to police departments and district attorneys' offices to distribute to women at risk. This year the company earmarked $100,000 to help victims by providing wireless technology solutions.

Editor's Note: For more information on local events, visit the "In the News" section of Bell Atlantic Mobile's web site: www.bam.com.

Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 116,000 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 5.7 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.

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