According to The Center for Women and Families in Louisville, Kentucky, victims of domestic violence may return to their abuser seven times before leaving permanently. Sometimes, the victim returns to her abuser because she feels no one will believe her, or because she thinks she has no hope of winning a case against the perpetrator in court.
The expansion of a forensic exam program in domestic violence cases in Louisville gives survivors who have been able to leave an abusive situation an important tool to stop their abusers. A $15,000 HopeLine® from Verizon Wireless grant enables KentuckyOne Health to provide free forensic exams to survivors of all kinds of domestic violence, enabling the collection of evidence critical to prosecution of the perpetrators.
Prior to the HopeLine grant, the Kentucky Crime Victims Compensation Board was only able to provide funding for the exam and documentation of injuries to victims of sexual assault. As a result, many domestic violence survivors could not have their injuries evaluated and documented by forensic examiners for use in court.
The HopeLine grant also helped KentuckyOne Health purchase LED camera equipment that can document evidence not seen by the naked eye and detect injuries below the skin's surface, such as strangulation marks and other bruises.
This grant is just one component of Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program that helps combat domestic violence by funding initiatives that provide education, prevention and survivor support to help victims of domestic violence. With the funds raised from the sale of the refurbished phones, Verizon Wireless purchases new wireless phones and donates airtime to victims of domestic violence through social services and law enforcement agencies in their community.
If you are being abused or you are concerned about signs of potential abuse in a friend or loved one, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by dialing 1-800-799-SAFE, or simply dial #HOPE from your Verizon Wireless phone.