DES MOINES, IA — An estimated 20,000 to 40,000 Iowa women are victims of domestic violence annually, according to the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) and since 1995 domestic violence has claimed 84 Iowans' lives, according to the Iowa Attorney General's Office. Sobering statistics like these are the motivation behind an initiative led by Verizon Wireless to increase public awareness of the Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline, a toll-free number in the state of Iowa that connects battered women to services they seek. The number is 1-800-942-0333.
Verizon Wireless has joined with Children and Families of Iowa to combat domestic violence in the greater Des Moines area in launching a public service campaign to promote the crisis line.
The public service campaign consists of radio announcements that will air beginning Nov. 5 on KMXD radio and powerful indoor women's restroom posters provided by Next Media/AJ Indoor that will appear in 25 locations per month through Dec. 31 in the greater Des Moines area. Additional locations will be provided based on space availability.
"Verizon Wireless is dedicated to domestic violence awareness and prevention," said Rich Garwood, president, Great Plains Region of Verizon Wireless. "We hope this campaign for the Iowa domestic violence hotline will spread the word to those who need help."
The 24-hour confidential Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline is staffed with trained advocates that provide crisis counseling and information about shelter, legal assistance and services throughout Iowa. Although the hotline received 1,500 calls last year, that is only a small percentage of those whose lives are affected by domestic violence.
"Although the Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline has assisted many women and their families, we know there are many more we're not reaching because they don't know about this service," said Sandy Smith, Hotline Coordinator.
In addition to the hotline, Children and Families of Iowa operates the Family Violence Center, Iowa's largest shelter for victims of domestic violence. During fiscal 2001, 5,893 individuals were provided services through the Family Violence Center.
The Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-942-0333.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 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 and GTE Wireless. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 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.