News Release

City Of San Francisco Partners With Verizon Wireless To Curb Domestic Violence

Abused Women and City Employers to Receive Resources

October 2, 2002

Ken Muche
949.286.8193

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. joined Verizon Wireless today to announce the launch of a comprehensive city-wide Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership.

"Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects women of all ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds," said Mayor Brown. "We, as San Francisco's family of city departments, non-profit agencies and businesses, need to come together to raise awareness about this serious issue, and work towards the eradication of domestic violence in all our communities."

The public-private partnership includes a series of initiatives that will benefit battered women in the city of San Francisco, promote awareness of domestic violence and help businesses assist employees who are victims of domestic violence. Verizon Wireless will work with the city's Commission & Department on the Status of Women and Department of the Environment to implement these key initiatives.

"Domestic violence is an epidemic. It can impact our neighbors, friends and co-workers," said Tony Simpson, Verizon Wireless' Northern California Regional President. "Through our HopeLineSM program, Verizon Wireless remains committed to assisting victims of domestic violence and helping prevent future assaults."

Launched in 2001, HopeLine collects used wireless phones and either refurbishes, recycles or sells them. All proceeds are used to award cash grants or wireless phones with airtime to human service and public safety agencies to help victims of abuse.

The Department of the Environment will work in conjunction with Verizon on the reuse and recycling of cellphones in an effort to both protect victims of domestic violence and keep hazardous waste out of our landfill. The Department on the Status of Women, located at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 130, will serve as the central distribution center for cell phones to shelters and other domestic violence programs.

Partnership elements include:

  • A donation of 200 wireless phones with voicemail and pre-paid minutes from Verizon Wireless to the Commission & Department on the Status of women to distribute to shelters throughout the year.
  • A Verizon Wireless HopeLine grant of $40,000 awarded to the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women to launch three initiatives by year-end: airing a Public Service Announcement on cable television, placing awareness posters in city buses for an entire month and publishing a resource guide for victims of abuse.
  • A direct mail campaign during October that targets San Francisco-based companies to raise awareness of domestic violence among both employers and employees.
  • A HopeLine collection drive of old cellular phones among city of San Francisco employees throughout the month of October to benefit women's shelters.

FACTS ABOUT

Domestic Violence…Every 60 seconds, five women are beaten and 1.3 women (age 18 and over) are raped. Domestic violence and sexual assault remain the most underreported crimes in the United States, with four million women seeking medical or police intervention each year and numerous incidents that go unreported due to isolation and fear.

San Francisco has worked aggressively to support intervention services and to eradicate violence against women. The City, through the Commission and Department on the Status of Women, has supported cutting edge programs on violence against women, domestic violence and sexual assault that have served as national models. San Francisco currently provides $2 million dollars in funding to community-based organizations for services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Many City departments, including the Department of Public Health, the Police Department, and the District Attorney's Office have worked in collaboration with community based groups to develop services for women affected by domestic violence.

The San Francisco Commission and Department on the Status of Women works to ensure equal treatment of women and girls in San Francisco, fostering their socioeconomic, political, and educational advancement through policies, legislation, and programs, especially for women and girls in need. The Department has provided funding for local violence against women programs for over 20 years. Thirty community-based programs are currently funded to provide advocacy/intervention, crisis hotline, shelter, transitional/advocacy, legal assistance and prevention education services for sexual assault and domestic violence.

The mission of theSan Francisco Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP) is to develop and implement an efficient and sustainable waste management strategy for the City and County of San Francisco. The SWMP is working in conjunction with Verizon Wireless on the reuse and recycling of cellular phones in an effort to both protect victims of domestic violence and keep hazardous waste out of our landfill. For more information on cellular phone recycling, please call the San Francisco Solid Waste Management Program at (415) 554-3400 or visit the Program's web site at www.sfrecycles.org.

Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 30 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD).

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 30.3 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.

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