Bell Atlantic Mobile Wireless Voicemail Assists Victims of Domestic Violence

Union, NJ — To assist victims of domestic violence, Bell Atlantic Mobile is providing HopeLinesm service to Manavi, a community-based agency that addresses the special concerns of battered women of South Asian descent.

HopeLine is a wireless voice mailbox service that acts like an answering machine and allows victims to receive personal messages at a shelter about interviews, appointments and other important matters. With HopeLine, women can leave a callback number that protects their privacy and lets them avoid the stigma associated with living at a family shelter. Victims who are still living in their own homes with their abusers also may use HopeLine as a secure means of communicating without their abusers knowledge.

"Domestic violence is a growing problem that cuts across all income levels, cultures and geographic areas," said Charles Hand, vice president, Bell Atlantic Mobile NY/NJ Metro region. "We believe HopeLine offers a vital service to battered women as they look for a way out of their abusive situations and start new lives for their families."

Counselors at Manavi will use HopeLine to help their clients communicate more easily with prospective employers, landlords and other social service agencies. The voice mailboxes will be accessed by counselors who will pass messages along to their clients.

"Manavi's mission is to empower women of South Asian descent and to end violence against all women," said Shalini Gujavarty, legal coordiantor for Manavi. "HopeLine is one more tool we can provide to our clients to help them break away from a violent existence."

HopeLine is offered through Bell Atlantic Mobile's "Wireless at Work" program which uses the company's wireless technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Since its inception in 1995, "Wireless at Work" has allowed Bell Atlantic Mobile to give back to the community by bringing its wireless products and services to various groups in need throughout the company's service area, from Maine to northern Georgia. Over the past two years, the company has donated over 400 wireless phones to aid victims of domestic violence living in the New York/New Jersey area. In Union County, HopeLine is being provided to clients of Project Protect.

Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 112,000 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 5.5 million customers and 7,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community relations 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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