ONANCOCK, VA — Verizon Wireless today announced the launch of project HopeLineSM in Virginia to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month and to continue its commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness.
HopeLine is a national initiative that puts wireless products and services to work to combat domestic violence.
Verizon Wireless is starting the program here by donating voice mailboxes to domestic violence shelters for use by victims during their time of transition. The voice mailboxes are being provided to The Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence and to other organizations throughout the Commonwealth.
"Many victims of domestic violence are attempting to rebuild their lives," said Pat Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless' Washington-Baltimore-Virginia region. "These voice mailboxes give victims a means to receive messages and communicate with prospective employers, landlords and others in a way that offers them personal discretion and sanctuary from their abuser."
In Virginia, nearly 60,000 people are served by domestic violence programs each year. Seventy-one per cent of them are women.
"Many times an abuser can locate their victim when they contact their family and friends," said Eleanor Drewniak, executive director of the Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence which serves 1,500 clients per year. "These voice mail boxes are not location specific, and will allow our clients to stay in communication with friends and family while remaining safe and anonymous."
Editor's Note: Interviews with Verizon Wireless staff and the director of the Eastern Coalition Against Domestic Violence may be arranged upon request.
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.