ALPHARETTA, GA — In recognition of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless, which owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network serving 47.4 million customers, is continuing its efforts to help victims of domestic violence in Georgia and draw attention to this devastating issue. Verizon Wireless encourages everyone to help local domestic violence organizations and victims in Georgia via the company's HopeLine® program and local community awareness efforts such as the Clothesline Project.
A few facts about domestic violence:
- Domestic violence affects a significant percentage of the population both statewide and nationally. It affects all races, all economic classes.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- The U.S. Department of Justice's 2001 Report of Violence Against Women reports that 1 in 3 women will experience domestic or sexual violence in her lifetime.
- During a 30-minute time frame, approximately 200 women in Georgia will be beaten by someone they love.
- 50% of the men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abuse their children.
- Annually, businesses nationwide forfeit $5 billion in lost wages, sick leave, absenteeism and non-productivity due to domestic violence. 56% of victims are late for work at least five times per month.
Verizon Wireless is a recognized corporate leader in the ongoing domestic violence awareness campaign. HopeLine, which marks its 10th anniversary in 2005, was the nation's first wireless phone collection program run by a service provider. The HopeLine program focuses on putting wireless products and services to work to prevent domestic violence. Phones, which are collected in every Verizon Wireless Communications Store across Georgia and nationwide, are refurbished or recycled, and funds are used to purchase new wireless phones with airtime for victims or used to fund prevention and awareness programs. By the end of 2004, Verizon Wireless had collected about two million phones through the HopeLine program and donated more than $1 million nationwide in HopeLine grants to organizations engaged in raising the awareness of domestic violence and in its prevention. To date in 2005, Verizon Wireless has given nearly $100,000 in HopeLine funds to domestic violence prevention organizations in the state of Georgia.
In addition to the HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless has established a service that enables victims to discreetly and directly call the National Domestic Violence Hotline using their Verizon Wireless phone and an easy-to-remember number: #HOPE. By dialing #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone on the carrier's nationwide network, the caller is immediately connected to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE). #HOPE can be dialed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is toll-and airtime-free.
"It's estimated that more than 100 million wireless phones will be 'retired' this year in the United States," says Jim McGean, President, Verizon Wireless Georgia/Alabama region. "For consumers who are upgrading to new phones, HopeLine provides an environmentally safe alternative to throwing handsets away, and potentially provides a lifeline for a domestic violence victim in need."
In addition to executing phone drives in October throughout Georgia to collect used wireless phones for HopeLine, Verizon Wireless will be traveling the state with their Clothesline Project. Designed to promote social change and prevention, the Clothesline Project is an art exhibit created by domestic violence survivors. Using t-shirts as their blank canvas, domestic violence survivors throughout Georgia have expressed their experiences through art.
"With the Clothesline project, our goal is to show every single passerby the reality of domestic violence and inspire hope and safety for anyone currently in a domestic violence situation," says McGean. "The courageous survivors who expressed their experiences through t-shirt art join our public effort to save lives and draw attention to this devastating issue in Georgia."
Verizon Wireless' Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities in the state of Georgia include the following:
- October 4: Columbus, GA Candlelight Vigil at the Government Center; Verizon Wireless Clothesline Project displayed in partnership with Hope Harbor
- October 6: Atlanta, GA, Candlelight Vigil at MLK Center; HopeLine Phone Drive with Partnership Against Domestic Violence
- October 7: Brunswick, GA, Awareness Luncheon at Old City Courthouse; Verizon Wireless Clothesline Project in partnership with Glenn County Community Crisis Center; Verizon Wireless is also speaking re: the issue of domestic violence in the workplace
- October 10-15: Atlanta, GA; SouthLake Mall, Verizon Wireless Clothesline Project displayed in partnership with Securus House
- October 16: Brunswick, GA; Candlelight Vigil at Neptune Park; HopeLine Phone Drive with Glenn County Community Crisis Center;
- October 26: Atlanta, GA; Gwinnett County Speak Out; Verizon Wireless Clothesline Project display and HopeLine Phone Drive in partnership with Partnership Against Domestic Violence
- October 27: Macon, GA; Domestic Violence Forum at Central Georgia Tech University; Verizon Wireless Clothesline Project display with Macon Salvation Army
"Domestic Violence knows no socio-economic boundaries everyone is affected," says Nancy Grigsby, Executive Director, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "Domestic violence makes our communities less safe, our businesses less profitable and impacts millions of lives each year. There is help available to victims. And there is a real need for communities to recognize their role in supporting victims' efforts to get safe and in holding abusers accountable. Verizon Wireless is helping to communicate that message."
"As part of our culture, Verizon Wireless values the communities we serve. There are valuable organizations across the state of Georgia helping victims and dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence," says McGean. "Domestic violence should be an issue important to all companies, as it has a definite impact on the workplace, through absenteeism, lost productivity and poor morale. We will remain committed to doing our part to address the problem of domestic violence by giving funds and phones to organizations in Georgia."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice network, serving 47.4 million voice and data 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. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.