LOS ANGELES, CA — California State Assembly Member Tony Cardenas, City Council Member Alex Padilla, the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women, Verizon Wireless and Motorola gathered today at Los Angeles City Hall to roll out a comprehensive, domestic violence prevention and awareness campaign in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
"Verizon Wireless is proud of its partnership with the City of Los Angeles, and we are pleased to kick off this first-of-a-kind domestic violence prevention initiative in Los Angeles," said Verizon Wireless Regional President Greg Klimek. "Today, we are launching several key initiatives that will not only help victims of domestic violence, but also focus more attention on the problem."
As a part of the public-private partnership, Verizon Wireless is donating $34,000 in grants to local domestic violence prevention programs. Of this total, $20,000 will help local women's shelters W.A.V.E., Jenesse Center and Tamar House provide resources to victims in the Los Angeles area. The remaining $14,000 will be used to fund the production of Domestic Violence Survival Guides, and television and radio domestic violence awareness public service messages.
The Domestic Violence Survival Guides include 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, and will distributed by the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women, to hospitals and libraries throughout the Southland beginning this month.
The public service announcement, which will begin appearing today on LA CityView (Channel 35), encourages Los Angeles residents and businesses to help raise awareness of, and take action to prevent domestic abuse.
"Lack of alternative housing often forces victims of abuse to choose between staying in an abusive, sometimes life threatening, relationship and homelessness," said Assembly member Tony Cardenas. "These grants will help local women's shelters provide temporary safe housing, and much needed support services to local women and children who are victims of domestic violence."
Verizon Wireless and Motorola also donated 200 digital wireless phones and free service to W.A.V.E., Jenesse Center and Tamar House. The phones will be given to shelter participants who 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.
"Motorola is extremely proud to be a founder and a partner in the Call to Protect program," said Rick Neal, Vice President and General Manager for Motorola. "One of the key aspects of our business is to help people benefit from wireless technology, so we have made a long-standing commitment to support community initiatives such as these."
As part of the Greater Los Angeles partnership, Verizon Wireless and the Commission on the Status of Women are launching an abuse prevention campaign, including the distribution of domestic violence awareness posters and educational materials targeted to Los Angeles area businesses. The Commission will mail letters to businesses throughout Los Angeles this month that highlight the negative impact that domestic violence can have on a company's bottom line and encourage businesses to take action.
"Domestic violence is an epidemic that can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime - at home or work," said Councilman Alex Padilla. "That is why we are encouraging companies in Los Angeles to participate in the workplace awareness campaign."
"The impact of domestic violence in the workplace has been echoed in the headlines of many metropolitan newspapers across the country," said Paula Petrotta, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women. "So intervention methods not only save dollars, they can save lives."
The posters, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, are available at no cost to Greater Los Angeles Area businesses. Offered in English and Spanish, they provide a toll-free hotline for victims. The posters are available from Verizon Wireless by calling (949) 286-8151.
During October, nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless retail stores collected more than 200 used wireless phones in Southern California, which will be used to support the company's HopeLineSM program. The HopeLine program, which was officially launched in Southern California today and will continue year-round, sends the phones to a recycling center. The proceeds enable the company to provide phones and donate airtime to more victims of domestic violence through human services organizations.
Beginning today, 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. HopeLine 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.
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. For more information about the work of the Commission, visit their web site at www.lacity.org/csw.
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 20,000 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 and GTE Wireless. 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.