News Release

City of Los Angeles and Verizon Wireless Announce Partnership to Help Reduce Domestic Violence

Abused Women, Employers to Benefit From Grants, Phones, Educational Materials

October 21, 2001

Andrew Colley
andrew.colley@verizonwireless.com
949-286-8194

Veronica Hendrix
City of Los Angeles
213-978-0300

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women and Verizon Wireless today announced a comprehensive, domestic violence prevention and awareness partnership for the five-county Greater Los Angeles Area. The multi-pronged partnership, the first alliance of its kind in Greater Los Angeles, includes:

  • Cash grants to local domestic violence prevention agencies totaling more than $30,000
  • Donation of more than 200 cellular phones from Motorola and free Verizon Wireless service to Los Angeles area battered women shelters.
  • Launch of an abuse prevention campaign, including the distribution of domestic violence awareness posters and educational materials targeted to Los Angeles area businesses
  • Production and distribution of video and audio public service announcements encouraging Los Angeles residents and businesses to help curb domestic abuse
  • Distribution of Domestic Violence Survival Guides throughout at Los Angeles County hospitals and libraries
  • HopeLineSM - a Verizon Wireless program to collect and recycle used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence.

The City's partnership with Verizon Wireless addresses domestic violence on a variety of critical fronts. "This is not just a phone donation or collection drive," said Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn. "We hope that by emphasizing prevention and education, and by putting wireless phones in the hands of victims, that we will be able to help people escape abuse and turn their lives around."

As a part of the public-private partnership, Verizon Wireless is donating $34,600 in grants to local domestic violence prevention programs. Of this total, $20,100 will help local battered women shelters, W.A.V.E., Jenesse Center and Tamar House provide resources to victims in the Greater Los Angeles area. The remaining $14,500 will be used to fund the production of the Commission's Domestic Violence Survival Guides and television and radio domestic violence awareness public service messages.

The Domestic Violence Survival Guide is a comprehensive list of domestic violence and rape crisis and emergency numbers in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. The guides are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Russian.

The public service announcement, which will begin appearing next month on LA CityView (Channel 35), encourages Los Angeles residents to help raise awareness of, and take action against, domestic abuse.

In addition, Verizon Wireless and Motorola are donating 200 pre-programmed digital wireless phones and free service to W.A.V.E., Janesse Center and Tamar House. The phones will be given to shelter participants, who are threatened by stalking or are victims of domestic violence. In an emergency, pressing one button on the phone will connect the user with the nearest law enforcement agency dispatcher, who can quickly assess the situation and send help. The donation is a part of CALL to PROTECT, a national educational and philanthropic initiative from the Wireless Foundation that provides the security and mobility of wireless phones to victims of domestic violence.

As part of the Greater Los Angeles partnership, the Commission will mail letters to businesses throughout Los Angeles that highlight the negative impact that domestic violence can have on a company's bottom line and encouraging businesses to take action. The letter encourages local companies to order posters, which raise awareness about domestic violence and provide a toll-free hotline number for victims. The posters, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, will be offered at no cost to Greater Los Angeles Area businesses, and are available in English and Spanish. They are available from Verizon Wireless by calling (949) 286-8151.

Through its HopeLineSM program, Verizon Wireless is now collecting previously owned wireless phones, which are sent to a recycling center, enabling the company to provide phones and donate airtime to more victims of domestic violence through human services organizations. The collection began in October, nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and will continue year-round.

All used cellular phones, batteries and accessories that Southland residents collect can be dropped-off at any Verizon Wireless retail store throughout Southern California to benefit domestic violence victims. HopeLineSM also helps the environment by keeping cellular phones out of Los Angeles's landfills, thus avoiding the risk of battery acid leaking into the groundwater.

FACTS ABOUT

The Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women was established by ordinance by the City Council and Mayor in 1975. In 1980, the Commission was made a permanent department of City government. The Commission assists in assuring to all women the opportunity for full and equal participation in the affairs of City government and promotes the general welfare of women in the Los Angeles community.

The Commission on the Status of Women has worked in the field of domestic violence since 1984. During the course of many years, we have listened to public testimony in over one dozen hearings and we have received thousands of calls from women requesting assistance and referral information. The information shared with us has highlighted a myriad of problems and societal repercussions associated with the crime of domestic violence. The Commission continues to work on educating the public, law enforcement, legislators, employers, educators and the community about the seriousness and complexity of domestic violence. Through Public Service Announcements, printed material and panel discussions, we promote awareness about domestic violence and relationship/dating violence among adults and young people.

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers, embraces a philosophy of commitment to the community, and focuses primarily on putting wireless products and services to work to combat domestic violence. During October, 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.

Using its portfolio of products and services, Verizon Wireless puts tools into the hands of victims to help ensure their safety and assist them on the road to recovery. The company has donated to victims thousands of wireless phones pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1. In addition, its HopeLineSM program has supplied more than 10,000 free voice mailboxes to individuals in shelters who do not have access to a personal phone. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company's domestic violence awareness and prevention efforts on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.

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 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.

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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