Verizon Wireless and Motorola "Connect" Domestic Violence Victims With Help

PLYMOUTH, MI — Emergency assistance is now just a push of a couple buttons away for domestic violence victims in Western Wayne County. Verizon Wireless and Motorola recently donated 150 phones, programmed to dial 911, to First Step, the Wayne County-based domestic violence and sexual assault organization. The donation is part of Verizon Wireless' nationwide commitment to support domestic violence prevention and awareness.

"We are putting essential communication tools in the hands of thousands of women who need a vital, reliable link to emergency services in times of crisis," said Wayne White, president, Michigan region, Verizon Wireless. "Our company is deeply committed to combating this horrible crime and helping domestic violence victims by providing an important link to 911."

According to Judy Ellis, executive director of First Step, a common control tactic of an abuser is to turn off the home phone or rip it out of the wall. "Wireless phones with the ability to dial 911 in an emergency not only save lives, but also provide immediate access to help," said Ellis. "We have seen many cases where the victim has used a wireless phone in a dangerous situation. First Step is proud to work with Verizon Wireless to help make the lives of families in Wayne County safer."

Over the past four years, Verizon Wireless has donated more than 2,000 phones to domestic violence shelters across Michigan through its involvement with CALL to PROTECT. CALL to PROTECT is a national educational and philanthropic program aimed at combating domestic violence that is coordinated by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's Wireless Foundation.

About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 27.5 million wireless voice and data customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 38,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at