Corporate Summit in Jacksonville, Florida Addresses Impact of Domestic Violence on Local Businesses

JACKSONVILLE, FL — Domestic violence costs Florida companies billions of dollars in lost productivity, absenteeism and medical costs each year. That fact alone is beginning to get the attention of many local business leaders and shareholders.

Hubbard House of Jacksonville and Verizon Wireless are hoping to educate CEOs, COOs, personnel directors and other business executives about more than harsh numbers when they hold Florida's first Corporate Summit on Domestic Violence in Jacksonville on Wednesday, May 19. Awareness and prevention of domestic violence are common goals for Hubbard House, Duval County's largest shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and Verizon Wireless.

The free half-day event will feature local business and community leaders speaking on topics such as:

  • "Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility" — Pat Hill, Akerman Senterfitt
  • "An Executive Leadership Perspective" — John Delaney, President of UNF
  • "It's Everyone's Responsibility" — Clear Channel Communications

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 13,000 acts of domestic violence are committed in the workplace each year. Harassment and threats of violence also take a toll -- often it's the only place an abuser knows where to find the victim once they attempt to leave a violent situation.

This summit will provide companies with insight into how to protect their employees — and the tools to begin their own programs. Workbooks with guides on how to implement programs to keep employees safe from domestic violence issues, and workplace posters providing information on resources where employees may seek help will be provided to participants in the summit.

"This social issue is a quietly devastating crime," said Mike Lanman, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "The person in the office next door can be living a nightmare. Employers who are not addressing this issue are doing a disservice to their employees, their shareholders and their communities."

More than 120,000 cases of domestic violence are reported in Florida each year, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Even worse, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that most incidents are never reported at all.

Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless provider, has long made domestic violence awareness and prevention its main philanthropic cause. Citizens can drop off any outdated cell phone at a Verizon Wireless store anywhere in Florida and help fight domestic violence through the company's HopeLineSM Phone Recycling Program. All phones collected will be refurbished, recycled or sold, and either phones or cash will be donated to non-profit domestic violence agencies in Florida.

In 2003, Verizon Wireless provided more than $100,000 in cash and services to local agencies such as Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Spring of Tampa Bay, Women In Distress of Broward County, SafeSpace of Miami, The Women's Fund, Hubbard House in Jacksonville and others. Phone recycling drives with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Publix Supermarkets and the Miami Dolphins helped generate HopeLine funds while keeping thousands of old phones out of Florida landfills.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 39 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto