SOUTHFIELD, MI — As part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing commitment to combat domestic violence, the company has teamed-up with the Michigan Sheriffs' Association and Motorola to provide wireless phones to domestic assault victims statewide.
Sheriffs' deputies witness domestic violence first-hand in the line of duty and have the ability to identify needs within their communities very quickly. Once the local sheriff has worked with the shelter to determine its needs, Verizon Wireless and Motorola will donate phones programmed to dial each organization's hotline number and 911. Verizon Wireless is also donating 911-only phones to the Michigan Sheriffs' Association to be distributed at their discretion to victims of other violent crimes, such as rape and stalking, who could benefit from such a lifeline.
The first donation of this joint safety initiative will benefit RAVE (Relief After Violent Encounter), an organization that provides around-the-clock no-cost emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence. Twelve wireless phones will be given to RAVE shelters in Ionia, Clinton and Shiawassee counties.
"Verizon Wireless and the Michigan Sheriffs' Association have been working for the same cause," said Wayne White, president - Michigan Region, Verizon Wireless. "Now, we're combining our strengths and resources to fight domestic assault and other violent crimes."
According to RAVE Executive Director Beth Morrison, "These phones will be made available to our clients who are faced with daily safety concerns and are at risk of further abuse or harassment by their abusive partners. Having the ability to contact 911 or the RAVE hotline at anytime can literally mean the difference between being safe or facing serious injury or death."
Additionally, Verizon Wireless has donated 24 phones to the Clinton, Ionia and Shiawassee County Sheriffs' offices. Terry Jungel, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association, said, "By providing these phones, we're essentially giving victims their freedom back. The phones also allow law enforcement officials to stay in contact with the victims as well."
Domestic Violence organizations with specific needs that could benefit from this joint initiative are urged to contact their local sheriff's department.
The enhanced phone donation program is part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing participation in CALL to PROTECT, a national educational and philanthropic program aimed at combating domestic violence that is coordinated by the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's Wireless Foundation. Over the past four years, Verizon Wireless has donated more than 2,500 911-only phones to domestic violence shelters across Michigan.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with 28 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is a global leader in providing integrated communications and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion. For more information, please visit the Motorola web site at http://www.motorola.com.
To update your profile or remove yourself from automatic News Delivery, please visit the Verizon Wireless Customized News Service Center.