The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence was founded in 1994 to increase access to justice for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Commission addresses the acute need to increase the number of well-trained and supported lawyers providing representation to victims by providing creative training opportunities for lawyers, law students, and other legal advocates.
As the liaison to the Commission on Domestic Violence and in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, I’d like to encourage students to host a Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine collection drive at your school. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and Verizon has been helping these victims of domestic violence and raising awareness since 2001.
The HopeLine phone recycling program collects no longer used wireless phones and accessories in any condition from any wireless carrier. Devices donated to HopeLine are scrubbed of personal information, refurbished, and sold for reuse, and those without value are recycled in an environmentally sound way under a zero landfill policy. Proceeds from the sale of refurbished phones are used to provide free wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence. Many victims of domestic violence live in a world of silence, shut off from all avenues of communication. By providing access to a phone, the HopeLine Program gives them a voice, which for many victims is the first step toward escaping from their abusers.
So far, over 90,000 phones and over 300 million minutes of free wireless service have been distributed to victims of domestic violence. Verizon Wireless has also awarded cash grants of more than $7.9 million to organizations working to prevent and raise awareness of domestic violence since 2001 through HopeLine.
Holding a collection drive is a very cost-effective programming idea for student groups ranging from domestic violence prevention, family law, women and the law, science and technology law, business law, environmental law, and many more. Plus, with the option of dropping off the phones in-store or mailing them back with a postage-paid label, it couldn’t be easier to provide a voice to victims of domestic violence.
For more information about donating your old phone to HopeLine, visit http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html. For more information about the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, visit www.americanbar.org/groups/domestic_violence.