News Release

San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership Collects More Than 3,000 Phones to Combat Domestic Violence

The City and Verizon Wireless Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence Among San Diego Companies and Employees

April 3, 2001

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

SAN DIEGO, CA — The City Attorney's Office today announced that the San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership, a cooperative effort between Mayor Dick Murphy, City Attorney Casey Gwinn, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, Verizon Wireless, Motorola and other partners, has collected more than 3,100 pre-owned wireless phones, which will be used to help fight domestic violence.

Since the launch of The Partnership on February 28, 2001, 2,362 phones have been collected at Verizon Wireless retail stores in San Diego; approximately 150 phones were collected by The City; and more than 600 phones were collected by Soroptimist, the world's largest classified service organization of executive women. The phones, which will be shipped this week to a recycling center, free of charge by Federal Express, will be refurbished and distributed to potential victims. The phones often serve as a lifeline in an emergency, providing victims with instant access to help.

"Public safety is my top priority, and I am delighted that the phones donated by San Diego residents will help battered women throughout the U.S. feel safer," said City Attorney Casey Gwinn. "This effort, combined with a donation of 100 wireless phones and free service from Motorola and Verizon Wireless to our Domestic Violence Prevention Unit, will help put a curb to this alarming trend -- the growing problem of domestic violence."

The Partnership also is urging local businesses to raise awareness about domestic violence among their employees by displaying domestic violence posters, which communicate the negative ripple effects of domestic violence on the workplace and to encourage prevention. Sponsored by Verizon Wireless and the City of San Diego, more than 150 posters, which are available in English and Spanish at no cost, have been ordered by, and distributed to San Diego businesses.

"I am very pleased by the initial response to our workplace awareness campaign, and would like to commend employers throughout San Diego who are taking action to raise awareness of domestic violence in the office and ensure the safety of victims while at work," said Mayor Dick Murphy. "Domestic violence is an epidemic that devastates neighbors, friends and co-workers, and it is my goal to inspire more businesses throughout San Diego to take part in our awareness and prevention efforts."

"By distributing these posters at our company and in the offices of other companies throughout San Diego, we hope to reach those victims who, until now, have been reluctant or afraid to reach out to their manager, co-worker or HR manager about their situation or who simply haven't known where to turn," said Verizon Wireless Regional President Mike Finley.

The San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership's Donate-A-Phone collection drive is a part of CALL to PROTECT, a national educational and philanthropic initiative sponsored by The Wireless Foundation, which provides the security and mobility of wireless phones to victims of domestic violence. The Partnership set the record in California for the greatest number of phones gathered during a Donate-A-Phone collection drive.

"The primary goal of Donate a Phone is to collect enough wireless phones to meet the needs of domestic violence victims nationwide," said David Diggs, Executive Director of the Wireless Foundation. "Thanks to the San Diego Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership and their highly successful Donate a Phone drive in San Diego, a record-setting 3,000 plus phones will be added to the fight against abuse," Diggs said.

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.

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 http://www.verizonwireless.com.

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