News Release

City Announces Partnership with Verizon Wireless and Motorola to Combat Domestic Violence in San Diego

Companies and Employees in San Diego to Receive Educational Resources

February 27, 2001

Gael Strack
City Attorney's Office
619-533-5515
Cell # 619-980-5768

SAN DIEGO, CA — Mayor Dick Murphy, City Attorney Casey Gwinn, City Manager Michael T. Uberuaga, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, Verizon Wireless and Motorola joined forces today to launch a comprehensive Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership in San Diego.

Starting today, the public-private partnership launches three initiatives that will benefit domestic battered women in San Diego and across the country and encourage local businesses to help their employees who are victims of domestic violence. The initiatives include:

  • Donate-A-Phone Collection Drive to collect phones that will be refurbished and distributed free of charge to victims of domestic violence.
  • Call to Protect Initiative implements a national educational and philanthropic initiative in San Diego to provide the security of wireless phones to domestic violence victims.
  • Workplace Awareness Campaign information mailed to approximately 3,500 San Diego companies to raise awareness about domestic violence among their employees.

"It is crucial that domestic abuse be seen as a serious, recognizable, and preventable problem like other workplace health and safety issues," said City Attorney Casey Gwinn. "This new partnership will not only help victims of domestic violence, but also focus more attention on the problem."

Domestic violence lowers worker productivity, increases company health care costs, and can erupt in workplace violence. The workplace is an ideal location for victims to ask for and receive help. The partnership was created to assist domestic violence victims and draw attention to the fact that victims are found not only in shelters or special facilities, but also in everyday workplaces.

Details of the three-prongs of the Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership include:

Donate-A-Phone Collection Drive - The City, with help from Verizon Wireless, Motorola and Federal Express, is collecting pre-owned wireless phones to help fight domestic violence. From today through March 31, 2001, Verizon Wireless retail stores throughout San Diego will serve as drop off points for donated phones. The collected phones, which will be shipped free of charge by Federal Express to a recycling center, will be refurbished by Motorola and distributed to potential victims. The phones often serve as a lifeline in an emergency, providing victims with instant access to help. To kick off the collection drive, City employees today donated 1,000 used wireless phones.

Call to Protect Initiative - 100 pre-programmed digital wireless phones and free air time are being donated to the City Attorney's Domestic Violence Unit, courtesy of Verizon Wireless and Motorola. The phones, which can be carried by program participants at all times, will help ensure the safety of women who are threatened by stalking or by domestic violence. In an emergency, pressing one button on the phone connects her with the nearest law enforcement agency dispatcher, who can quickly assess the situation and send her the help she needs. The single touch of another button connects her directly to the San Diego Domestic Violence Council's toll-free victim hotline. The donation is a part of CALL to PROTECT, a national educational and philanthropic initiative that provides the security and mobility of wireless phones to victims of domestic violence.

Workplace Awareness Campaign - As part of the partnership, information will be mailed to approximately 4,500 San Diego companies to assist them in raising awareness of domestic violence among their employees. Sponsored by Verizon Wireless, workplace domestic violence posters are available in English and Spanish at no cost for San Diego business and can be ordered by calling (949) 286-8151. They are designed for display in the workplace to communicate the negative ripple effects of domestic violence on the workplace and to encourage prevention. The posters encourage business leaders to prepare their workplace to help those in abusive relationships, victims to understand that their company will support them in getting help, and co-workers to help victims of domestic violence get the assistance they need.

More information about domestic violence, upcoming events, and training can be obtained by calling the San Diego Domestic Violence Council at (619) 533-6245 or visiting its website at www.sandiegodvcouncil.org.

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FACTS ABOUT

The San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership
On Feb. 28, 2001, the public-private San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership was launched to assist domestic battered women in San Diego by encouraging local businesses to help their employees who are victims of domestic violence. The members of the partnership include the City of San Diego, Verizon Wireless, Motorola Inc., and the San Diego Domestic Violence Partnership.

The City of San Diego works diligently to help victims of domestic violence and maintains aggressive domestic violence units in both the City Attorney's Office and the Police Department. According to City Attorney Gwinn, the new partnership is yet another way the City can expand its effort to protect victims of domestic violence and reduce this crime in the future. More information about the City's two domestic violence units can be found on the City's web site at www.sannet.gov.

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 3.5 million paging customers. The company has donated thousands of wireless phones pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1 to domestic violence shelters for use by victims. More information about the company on its web site at www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.

Motorola Inc. is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion. Motorola has donated 17,000 new wireless phones to shelters for use by victims of domestic abuse in the United States. For more information, visit the Motorola web site at www.motorola.com.

The San Diego Domestic Violence Council was established in 1989 by a countywide network of battered women's programs, criminal justice agencies, and other organizations and individuals that share the common goal of ending violence against women and children in the City and County of San Diego. Members of the council have offered to help local businesses by providing training and information about local resources and upcoming events. For more information about the council, visit its web site at www.sandiegodvcouncil.org.

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, visit its web site at www.wirelessfoundation.org.

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FACTS ABOUT

Domestic Violence in the United States
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. The public-private San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership was launched in February 2001 to assist domestic battered women in San Diego and across the country by encouraging local businesses to help their employees who are victims of domestic violence. Studies show that:

  • There are approximately 960,000 incidents of domestic violence each year (U.S. Department of Justice)

  • 40 percent of teenage girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend (Kaiser Permanente)

  • More than 175,000 workdays are lost each year because of domestic violence(Society for Human Resource Management)

  • American companies lose about $5 billion every year in increased medical costs associated with battered employees (National Victim Center)

  • 17 to 20 percent of women killed in the workplace are murdered by spouses or boyfriends (U.S. Department of Labor studies)

  • 31 percent of American women have been physically or sexually abused by a spouse or boyfriend during their lifetime (Commonwealth Fund)

More information about domestic violence, upcoming events, and training can be obtained by calling the San Diego Domestic Violence Council at (619) 533-6245 or visiting its website at www.sandiegodvcouncil.org.

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