OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — The greater Kansas City metropolitan area will join communities across the nation by participating in CALL to PROTECT: Wireless Phones for Domestic Safety, a nationwide campaign to help protect victims of domestic violence. Verizon Wireless, Motorola and the Wireless Foundation have teamed up to donate wireless phones and two years of free airtime to seven local shelters for victims of domestic violence.
"Wireless phones are important safety tools in protecting victims of domestic violence," said Kirk Golbach, regional president, Verizon Wireless in Kansas/Missouri. "The police and other emergency services now are just a push button away when domestic violence victims feel threatened or are in danger. Verizon Wireless is pleased to partner with KCTV5 in launching this program in Kansas City and enhancing the personal safety of those who need it most."
"Domestic violence and spousal abuse are national problems that cut through all boundaries, whether economic or ethnic," said Denise Brown, chair of the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation and sister of Nicole Brown Simpson. "Those subjected to the physical and mental anguish in the one place they should feel safest - their own homes - need our assistance and understanding. This donation of wireless phones will help provide recipients with an added sense of security, mobility and independence in the face of danger."
A national poll conducted by the Wireless Foundation shows that 72 percent of the public believe wireless phones provide victims of domestic violence with safety in the first crucial days of separating from an abusive partner. Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, has praised the CALL to PROTECT campaign. "CALL to PROTECT is a significant aid to individuals in abusive situations and it is making an important contribution by educating the public about the signs of domestic violence," she said.
"Motorola is pleased to take its long history in wireless technology and apply it to saving lives through the CALL to PROTECT initiative," said Denise Gibson, vice president and general manager for U.S. Strategic Account Operations, Motorola.
Recipients of CALL to PROTECT include Hope House, NEW House, Rose Brooks Center, Safe Haven, SAFEHOME, Joyce Williams Center and Hope Haven. As part of the program, Verizon Wireless and Motorola are providing:
- Wireless phones to victims of domestic violence that are pre-programmed so victims can reach 911 and an emergency hotline at the push of a button when they feel threatened;
- Free airtime for each phone over a two-year period;
- Information on how to recognize the five key signs of domestic violence and steps to take to help those in need.
"Domestic violence is a problem within our society," said John Douglass, Overland Park Police Chief. "The Overland Park Police Department is grateful to Verizon Wireless for their help in providing equipment which may make our families safer.
The wireless industry is inviting citizens to give back through the Donate a Phone campaign. The goal is to collect no longer used wireless phones that are too valuable to throw away, but can still be useful. Through CALL to PROTECT, the phones collected during the Donate A Phone campaign will be recycled and provided to domestic violence shelters so that even more potential victims can have increased safety and mobility. Verizon Wireless retail locations will act as collection sites for donations until July 1, 2000.
"There's more than one way to reach out and touch someone's life, and donating unused wireless phones and accessories to help fight domestic violence is one of the best," said Golbach. "It's estimated that throughout Kansas and Missouri, there are hundreds if not thousands of cell phones sitting in drawers, collecting nothing but dust. I urge everyone to donate their unused phones to CALL to PROTECT and join the battle against domestic abuse and violence."
As part of the launch reception, KCTV5 donated over close to 100 used wireless phones. Were proud of our involvement with the CALL to PROTECT campaign because domestic violence has such a devastating impact on our community. Not only will these phones provide a sense of security for victims of domestic violence, but hopefully we can help educate the public about the seriousness of the issue, said John Rose, KCTV5 vice president and general manager. ### About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with over 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by combining the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes assets from Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, St. Joseph and Wichita previously used the Cellular One brand name, and was owned and operated by AirTouch Communications.
Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. Once complete, the new company will have a footprint covering more than 90% of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50, and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is 30,000 employees strong. About Motorola Motorola is a global leader in advanced electronic systems and services. It liberates the power of technology by creating software-enhanced products that provide integrated customer solutions and Internet access via wireless and satellite communications, as well as computing, networking, and automotive electronics. Motorola also provides essential digital building blocks in the form of embedded semiconductors, controls and systems. Sales in 1998 were $29.4 billion. About The Wireless Foundation The Wireless Foundation initiates and oversees strategic corporate philanthropy programs utilizing wireless communications to make communities safer, families more secure and teachers more effective. For additional information on the Wireless Foundation, please visit www.wirelessfoundation.org. BACKGROUNDER 5 Signs Someone May Be A Victim of Domestic Violence Does his or her partner:
- Embarrass or ridicule him/her in public?
- Use intimidation or threats to get him/her to go along with something?
- Physically abuse him/her with pushing, shoving or hitting?
- Attempt to control or restrict his/her activities?
- Blame him/her for the way he/she feels or acts?
To learn more about how a victim of domestic violence can get help, contact: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit www.calltoprotect.org Some Facts About Domestic Violence
- Every 15 seconds the crime of battery occurs.
- More than 5,000 women each day are assaulted by their partners.
- More than one in three Americans have witnessed an incident of domestic violence.
- During the six months following an episode of domestic violence, 32% of battered women are victimized again.
Used wireless phones for the Donate A Phone program can be dropped off at any of the following Verizon Wireless (formerly Cellular One) Kansas/Missouri retail locations: 7801 W. 119th St. Overland Park, KS (913) 696-6000 13801 E. 40 Highway Independence, MO (816) 478-2800 11946 W. 95 St. Lenexa, KS (913) 495-5500 11931 Strang Line Rd. Olathe, KS (913) 696-5131 6248 N. Chatham Kansas City, MO (816) 587-9008 870 S. 291 Hwy. Liberty, MO (816) 560-1002 5828 Antioch Merriam, KS (913) 696-5121 959 NE Rice Rd. Lees Summit (816) 536-5000 13432 W. 62 Terrace Shawnee, KS (913) 248-1988 8043 State Ave Kansas City, KS (913) 696-5111 2301 Iowa St. Lawrence, KS (785) 842-4336 1920 Wanamaker Rd. Topeka, KS (785) 273-1234 3007 North Belt Highway St. Joseph, MO (816) 390-8700 515 N. Woodlawn Wichita, KS (316) 686-2355 7447 W. 21st St. Wichita, KS (316) 619-6000 4800 W. Kellogg Wichita, KS (316) 945-8255