Verizon Wireless Launches First Privately-Funded Hope Card Program in the Nation

Verizon Wireless is the first wireless company in the nation to privately fund a Hope Card project. The assistance program for domestic violence victims is established through the office of the Indiana Attorney General. Today, officials came together at The Julian Center in Indianapolis as part of a statewide tour to announce the new program funded with a $30,000 grant from HopeLine® from Verizon.

A Hope Card is a small card that contains critical information that is normally contained in a lengthy court-issued protective order. This simple card alleviates the need for a person under a protective order to carry multiple copies of important court papers to be on hand in a crisis. These types of court records can be as many as or more than 20 pages. During a crisis, law enforcement agents will be able to check the card quickly at a time when every second counts.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Hope Cards will be free to those who apply and meet minimum criteria set by the state – which could be as many as 10,000 Hoosiers. Only those under protective orders for a year or longer for domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking will be eligible to participate in the program.

I’m proud to announce a first for Verizon Wireless, along with AG Greg Zoeller

With the assistance of Verizon’s grant, Indiana becomes the third state in the nation to launch the Hope Card program and the first state to rely solely on private grants for funding. The Hope Cards will feature victim information and data on the abuser, including their photo, sex, race, date of birth, height, weight and identifying marks.

We believe Hope Cards will ease the burden of victims who are attempting to rebuild their lives. As we continue to shed light on domestic violence issues, we hope to salvage Hoosier families and help them get the protection they went to court to secure.

Melissa Pershing, The Julian Center executive director, noted that "this is a very small card, but to a survivor, it's a very big deal. It is indeed aptly named. It's a Hope Card.”

The announcement was also attended by members of the Indiana Supreme Court, including Justice Mark Massa and Justice Steven David.

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