Verizon Wireless Awards More Than $7,000 to Women's Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County

Verizon Wireless Awards More Than $7,000 to Women's Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County

Grant Will Help Provide Homes for Victims Leaving Shelter

October 29, 2001




As part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing commitment to support efforts to curb domestic violence in the U.S., the company's Northern California Region has awarded more than $7,000 to the Women's Shelter Program Inc. of San Luis Obispo County. The non-profit organization will use the grant to establish the Household Establishment Fund, which will assist women and children leaving its shelter to find a home of their own.

"Without the means to support themselves, victims may end up going back to their abusers because they feel they have no other choice," said Marianne Kennedy, executive director of Women's Shelter Program, Inc. "This grant will assist at least 13 of our shelter families to establish safe homes of their own, which is vital to breaking the cycle of violence," she said.

During October, which is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless is awarding a total of more than $210,000 to approximately 30 organizations in California. The outreach is part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing, nationwide campaign to promote awareness and prevention efforts within the communities it serves.

"We understand that domestic violence is an epidemic that can affect our neighbors, friends and co-workers," said Glen Hori, Verizon Wireless' Northern California Regional President. "Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportune time to emphasize how we - as employers, managers, fellow employees and citizens - can assist victims of domestic violence and help prevent future assaults."

Through the company's phone donation initiative, Verizon Wireless has donated more than 1,000 wireless phones and service to assist victims in emergency situations throughout the 12 western states.

Verizon Wireless also sponsored the creation of workplace awareness/education posters to further the message that domestic violence is a business issue that must be addressed. The message on the posters, which feature images of women hiding the abuse they suffer, encourages victims to seek assistance by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline to find out about local programs.

The domestic violence prevention workplace posters are available free of charge, in either English or Spanish, to interested businesses. They can be ordered by calling 949-286-8151.

Facts About Domestic Violence in the United States
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. Studies show that:

  • There are approximately 960,000 incidents of domestic violence each year (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 40 percent of teenage girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend (Kaiser Permanente)
  • More than 175,000 workdays are lost each year because of domestic violence (Society for Human Resource Management)
  • American companies lose about $5 billion every year in increased medical costs associated with battered employees (National Victim Center)
  • 17 to 20 percent of women killed in the workplace are murdered by spouses or boyfriends (U.S. Department of Labor studies)
  • 31 percent of American women have been physically or sexually abused by a spouse or boyfriend during their lifetime (Commonwealth Fund)

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.