BASKING RIDGE, NJ — According to estimates, between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone whom they depended on for care and/or protection.* Studies also find that only one in 14 of these domestic abuse cases are actually reported.** It is because of these sobering statistics that Verizon Wireless' corporate philanthropy program, HopeLine®, which provides wireless phones and services to victims of domestic violence, has launched initiatives and partnered with elder abuse prevention agencies across the country to raise awareness and help end this type of abuse.
Verizon Wireless launched a campaign in St. Louis entitled "Abuse Ignores Age" in which the company created brochures and posters to raise awareness of the elder abuse issue, and promoted a free, 24-hour helpline. The information was displayed in public spaces frequented by seniors including grocery stores, banks and houses of worship. Verizon Wireless also:
- Partnered with the state attorney general in Ohio to raise awareness of elder abuse. Verizon Wireless printed 100,000 public-awareness posters and 200,000 educational brochures explaining various forms of elder abuse and signs of victimization. The posters and brochures were delivered to local government agencies throughout the state.
- Worked with the Lexington County, South Carolina Sheriff's Department by using HopeLine phones in a program call S.A.F.E. (Senior Adults with Fones for Emergencies). The phones give senior citizens in their community a way to call for help in an emergency whether they themselves are in an emergency situation or if their neighbor is in danger.
- Joined forces with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), the Wyandotte and Johnson County Area Agencies on Aging, and the Metropolitan Family Violence Coalition in Kansas to create public education campaigns aimed at raising awareness of elder abuse and encouraging victims to seek help.
- Donated phones to the Providence House in New Jersey, which serves people over 50 in the Toms River area who are in abusive situations. Phones donated by HopeLine were used in Project Reach, which distributes an average of three phones per month to men and women who are abused.
Verizon Wireless is a recognized corporate leader for its commitment to preventing domestic violence and raising awareness of the issue through the HopeLine program. HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider at the company's Communications Stores nationwide. Phones that can be refurbished are sold for reuse and those without value are disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Proceeds from the HopeLine program are used to provide wireless phones and cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.
In addition to HopeLine's elder abuse awareness efforts, Verizon Wireless also offers products and services that help older customers use their wireless phones. Verizon Wireless' new America's Choice® 65 Plus calling plans, designed to meet the needs of customers ages 65 and older, give customers an easy way stay in touch with friends and family on the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network. Coupled with the latest device, the Verizon Wireless Coupe, the America's Choice 65 Plus offers the perfect wireless option for those whose wireless lifestyle no longer requires large bundles of minutes.
For more information about Verizon Wireless and the HopeLine program, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
* "Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America." 2003. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect.
** Pillemer, Karl, and David Finkelhor. 1988. "The Prevalence of Elder Abuse: A Random Sample Survey," The Gerontologist, 28: 51-57.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving more than 62.1 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 67,000 employees nationwide. The company 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 preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.