Hopeline - Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

by Tracy Achen

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted by the CDC, about 20 people per minute are victims of intimate partner violence in the United States. This equals more than 10 million women and men who have been impacted by domestic violence over the course of a year.

To put this more in perspective, domestic violence affects nearly 1 in 4 women, 1 in 7 men and more than 3 million children in the United States. These numbers underscore the need for domestic violence support services, prevention programs, and help for the victims.

Project Hopeline from Verizon

HopeLine® from Verizon is a project that supports numerous domestic violence programs and the people they serve. By collecting previously owned cell phones, batteries, and accessories, they can then refurbish and recycle the devices, keeping them out of landfills. Proceeds are then used to fund local shelters and provide resources to help boost awareness of domestic violence and provide resources for prevention and victim recovery.

How you can help

Hopeline doesn't accept monetary donations, but you can still help. It's as easy as bringing your old cell phones, batteries and accessories to your local Verizon store and dropping them in the collection bins. You can also mail these items in by printing a postage-paid mailing label from Verizon. It doesn't matter if the phone is from a different provider, and even if it's broken; the parts can be recycled in an environmentally sound way and used to generate funds for the program.

You can also sponsor a phone drive in your community to collect used phones. Your support will help continue putting cell phones in the hands of domestic violence victims and boost resources and awareness of domestic violence. You can learn more about hosting a phone drive plus get a link to the prepaid mailing label at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/aboutus/hopeline/get-involved.html.

If you need a phone

Having a cell phone can be a lifeline for victims of domestic violence. It enables them to contact friends and family, keep in touch with shelter and support services, and call 911 if necessary. To make this possible, the program distributes cell phones through local shelters, law-enforcement agencies, and social service agencies for use with their domestic violence clients. In fact, they have provided more than 180,000 phones to domestic violence victims and survivors since 2001.

These phones come with 3000 anytime minutes of wireless service, along with text-messaging. If you need a cell phone, contact your local domestic violence shelter or dial #HOPE from a Verizon Wireless phone. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for additional support and help.

Hopeline is an ongoing effort

For those skeptical about the motivation behind the program, rest assured this isn't a publicity stunt by Verizon. HopeLine has been an ongoing project since 1995 when the company was called Bell Atlantic Mobile. Back then, the program donated wireless phones for domestic violence victims and voicemail boxes for women living in shelters.

Since 2001, Verizon has donated more than 180,000 phones to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. They have also donated over $21 million in cash grants to various domestic violence organizations and collected over 10.8 million phones to be refurbished or recycled. It's really a win-win situation for the environment and victims of domestic violence. You can find more details about the program at Verizon.

I admire what Verizon has done to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse. If you are in an abusive relationship, these articles can help: