SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced the launch of a comprehensive citywide public-private Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership involving the mayor's office, the city's Department on the Status of Women and Verizon Wireless. Major funding for the partnership is being provided by Verizon Wireless through a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. Mayor Newsom announced the partnership at a press conference, which showcased the partnership's extensive public service announcement program, created to raise awareness that domestic violence occurs in families of all income levels and ethnicities.
The Department on the Status of Women, Verizon Wireless and the Department of the Environment will work together to implement the public-private partnership's initiatives, which include 350 Verizon Wireless HopeLineSM phones with airtime and other aid to Department on the Status of Women to benefit battered women in the city of San Francisco, as well as efforts to promote awareness of domestic violence, and help local businesses assist employees who are victims of domestic violence.
"This program is a terrific example of the private sector stepping forward to help our city and its citizens," said Mayor Newsom. "I appreciate the commitment and support of Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation. Together we will help reduce the toll domestic violence takes on our families, communities and businesses."
"Domestic violence is an epidemic that impacts not only the specific victims, but entire families, neighborhoods, places of business, and society as a whole," said Rich Garwood, president of the Northern California Region for Verizon Wireless. "Through our longstanding HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless remains committed to assisting victims of domestic violence and to helping prevent future assaults."
Launched in 2001, the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program collects used wireless phones and either refurbishes, recycles or sells them. Proceeds are used to award cash grants or wireless phones with airtime to human service and public safety agencies to help victims of abuse. Last year, Verizon Wireless donated more than $3.7 million in monetary and other contributions to domestic violence shelters and advocacy organizations.
The Department of the Environment will work in conjunction with Verizon Wireless on the reuse and recycling of cellular phones in an effort to both protect victims of domestic violence and help safeguard our environment, and keep phones and batteries out of our landfill. The Department on the Status of Women, located at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 130, will serve as the central distribution center for domestic violence prevention and assistance programs, including cell phones to shelters to aid victims.
Partnership elements include:
- A Verizon Foundation grant of $100,000 awarded to the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women to significantly expand the commission's "Don't Wait" campaign, which educates the public on how they can support friends or family members who are experiencing domestic violence.
- A Verizon Wireless donation of 350 HopeLine wireless phones, with voicemail and pre-paid minutes, to the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women for distribution to domestic violence prevention agencies throughout the year. The phones can help victims transition to a violence-free life by giving them a tool to conduct normal tasks, such as scheduling medical appointments and arranging job interviews.
- A direct mail campaign to San Francisco-based companies to help raise awareness of domestic violence among both employers and employees. A letter signed by the mayor will encourage businesses to donate old wireless phones and accessories to Hopeline and urge these same businesses to adopt policies that will assist employees who are victims of abuse.
- A HopeLine phone collection drive, spearheaded by the Department of Environment, to collect old cellular phones from city of San Francisco employees.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 40.4 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.