WILMINGTON, Del. —
Bell Atlantic Mobile, sponsor of the YWCA "Week Without Violence" Leadership Awards, announced today that it is donating wireless products and services to help domestic violence victims in Delaware stay safe. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington. The donation of high-tech "safety tools," which coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is part of Bell Atlantic Mobile's community service program "Wireless at Work."
The donation includes: 15 wireless phones pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1 to the YWCA's Helping Hearts Program, 10 voice mail boxes under the company's HopeLine program to the Home Life Management Program, and seven phones to be used by the YWCA staff.
"We're deeply appreciative of Bell Atlantic Mobile's contribution of wireless services to enhance our staff's ability to respond quickly to people's needs," said Ruth Sokolowski, executive director of YWCA of New Castle County. "The wireless phones and voice mail service are invaluable tools for domestic violence victims who feel trapped. These services enable a woman to take control without exposing herself to possible repercussions from an abuser."
"We're proud to sponsor the Week Without Violence Awards Ceremony and hope that our wireless donation to domestic violence victims will help these individuals break the cycle of domestic violence and rebuild their lives," said Bell Atlantic Mobile's Regional President John Stratton.
In the greater Philadelphia area, Bell Atlantic Mobile is also working with other organizations to include:
On October 8 in Philadelphia, Bell Atlantic Mobile participated in a press conference with District Attorney Lynne Abraham to make a donation of 35 wireless phones with 500 minutes of MobileMinutes pre- paid airtime to the Philadelphia Police department's Domestic Violence Unit. The phones will allow the officers to be easily accessible to domestic violence victims at all times. In addition, Women Against Abuse, Philadelphia's largest domestic violence shelter, will receive a donation of 25 voice mail boxes under the company's HopeLine program.
Through a government/private sector partnership, Bell Atlantic Mobile is joining forces with the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey law enforcement community by assisting victims of domestic violence and crime through its HopeLine and Wireless at Work programs. Bell Atlantic Mobile is donating 25 9-1-1 only wireless phones to the State Police for use in its new victim/witness rooms at police barracks. Bell Atlantic Mobile will also make voice mail boxes available to the New Jersey Coalition of Battered women, a state-wide non-profit organization that assists domestic violence victims.
These donations are part of Bell Atlantic Mobile's corporate-wide "Wireless at Work" community service program. Since 1995, this program has focused on assisting victims of domestic violence by utilizing the company's resources and technology in a variety of ways. These include the HopeLine program, which provides free voice mail boxes to victims residing in shelters, and donations of pre-programmed wireless 9-1-1 phones to police departments and district attorneys' offices for women at risk. This year the company earmarked $100,000 to help victims by providing wireless technology solutions.
On a national level, Bell Atlantic Mobile became the first wireless carrier to introduce a toll and airtime-free link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, allowing users to simply dial *HOPE from their wireless phones to reach the hotline. This feature ensures fast and easy access for Bell Atlantic Mobile customers in abusive situations to obtain advice at anytime when calling from anywhere in the company's Maine to Georgia footprint.
As part of its ongoing relationship with the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Bell Atlantic Mobile will also provide customers at its 200 Communications Stores, as well as its 7,000 employees, awareness cards featuring tips on how women can protect themselves from an abuser.