BURLINGTON, NJ — Senator Diane Allen and Bell Atlantic Mobile today marked the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by launching a wireless phone recycling program aimed at helping victims of domestic violence stay safe. The company's "Wireless at Work" Phone Recycling Program will allow wireless phone users throughout the region to donate their unused older model cellular phones at drop-off sites. The company will reprogram these phones to dial 9-1-1 only and then will provide the phones to victims of domestic violence.
The drive, which begins today and runs through October 31, will benefit Providence House and the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women to support groups for domestic violence. Bell Atlantic Mobile helped jump-start the drive by donating 25 Motorola wireless phones.
"We're asking people to donate their unused wireless phones so that domestic violence victims who fear for their lives can contact police immediately," said Senator Allen. "One of the most dangerous times for a domestic violence victim is after leaving a violent partner. These phones will provide victims with a tool to stay safe."
Donated phones must be portable models and include batteries and chargers. Phones, batteries and chargers must be placed in ziplock bags or boxes before drop-off.
At the end of the drive, Bell Atlantic Mobile will test and reprogram the phones to dial 9-1-1 at the touch of a button. "With these high-tech safety tools in hand, women will be one step closer to breaking the cycle of domestic violence," said John Stratton, regional president for Bell Atlantic Mobile. "By having a phone with them at all times, they can have peace of mind and the ability to seek emergency help, if necessary."
According to the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit, there were 81,454 total domestic violence offenses throughout the state in 1998; 2,479 incidents in Burlington County; and 5,347 incidents in Camden County. These offenses included homicide, assault, terroristic threats and sexual assault. The Family Violence Prevention Fund reports that women are the targets of physical abuse in the U.S. every nine seconds, and 42 percent of women murdered in this country are killed by their husband or boyfriend.
Phones are being collected at 21 locations throughout Burlington County:
Senator Diane Allen's office-2313 Burlington Mt. Holly Rd.,Burlington
Burlington County Library main branch-5 Pioneer Blvd.,Westampton
Burlington County Library branches - Bass River, Beverly, Bordentown, Browns Mills, Burlington, Crosswicks, Delanco, Evesham, Florence, Maple Shade, Medford Pinelands, Mt. Holly, Pemberton, Riverside, Riverton, Vincentown
Burlington County College Pemberton and Mt. Laurel Campus (Security Office)
For information on how to become a sponsored agency, please contact:
Bell Atlantic Mobile's Recycling Coordinator
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 180,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.6 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at Work…" community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.