News Release

Verizon Wireless Awards $10,000 to Shasta County Women's Refuge

Funding Will Establish New Textbook Grant Program for Victims' Continuing Education

October 14, 2001

April Sands
april.sands@verizonwireless.com
925-904-3712

SAN RAMON, CA — As part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing commitment to prevent domestic violence in the U.S., the company's Northern California Region has awarded $10,000 to the Shasta County Women's Refuge (SCWR). The organization will use the funds to establish a new textbook grant program for victims enrolled in continuing education courses, as well as to provide classes and support groups through SCWR's Personal Empowerment Program.

"Many women return to abusive relationships because they feel they have no other place to go," said Mary Leas Stegall, Executive Director of the Shasta County Women's Refuge. "Our Personal Empowerment Program helps victims learn to take control of their lives by providing the coping skills and education they need to permanently remove themselves and their children from an abusive home. The Verizon Wireless grant will significantly enhance this program."

During October, which is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless is awarding a total of $212,500 to approximately 30 organizations in California. The outreach is part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing, nationwide campaign to promote awareness and prevention efforts within the communities it serves.

"We understand that domestic violence is an epidemic that can affect our neighbors, friends and co-workers," said Glen Hori, Verizon Wireless' Northern California Regional President. "Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportune time to emphasize how we - as employers, managers, fellow employees and citizens - can assist victims of domestic violence and help prevent future assaults."

Through the company's national HopeLineSM phone donation program and affiliations with non-profit organizations, Verizon Wireless has donated more than 1,000 wireless phones, in addition to airtime, monetary contributions and other donations to domestic violence shelters across the country.

Verizon Wireless has a longstanding partnership with the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and provides thousands of dollars in support of the non-profit's National Workplace Resource Center on Domestic Violence. With the FVPF, Verizon Wireless is a founding participant in the Corporate Citizenship Initiative (CCI), a first-of-its-kind national project that develops workplace-based programs to stop domestic violence.

On behalf of the CCI, Verizon Wireless sponsored the creation of workplace awareness/education posters to further the message that domestic violence is a business issue that must be addressed. The message on the posters, which feature images of women hiding the abuse they suffer, encourage victims to seek assistance by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline to find out about local programs.

The domestic violence prevention workplace posters are available free of charge, in either English or Spanish, to interested businesses. They can be ordered by calling 949-286-8151.

Facts About Domestic Violence in the United States

Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. 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)

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.

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