Why Verizon is involved in domestic violence prevention
Domestic Violence is an issue that impacts people in every community throughout the country, regardless of social or economic status. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and one-fifth of all adults employed in the U.S. have been victims of domestic violence. It’s a business issue. Because of the widespread nature of the problem and its impact, we believe domestic violence is an important issue for the company to address.
How Verizon supports victims of domestic violence
Raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention has been a key social issue for Verizon for almost a decade. Verizon’s involvement began through the Verizon Hopeline program - which collects no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories to benefit victims of domestic violence. Phones that can be refurbished are sold for reuse, and those that are not salvageable are recycled.
Since 2001, more than 7 million phones have been collected to support domestic violence survivors - generating $8 million that has been given to local agencies.
In addition, in the past four years, the Verizon Foundation has awarded more than $21 million to nonprofit organizations that assist domestic violence survivors.
Also, by dialing #HOPE (#4673) from any Verizon Wireless phone, you will be connected to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Those in need can also call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
Steps Verizon Takes to Help Employees Who Are Victims of Domestic Violence
In situations where a Verizon employee has become a victim of domestic violence, Verizon management and human resources staff work with the employee on a case-by-case basis. When needed, Verizon has taken a variety of steps, including changing work schedules, removing employees’ names from staff directory lists and relocating employees across the country.
If there is an incident of domestic violence that occurs, there are several steps Verizon takes to assist, including providing counseling on-site for the victims or workers who knew the employee. Verizon also assists law enforcement.
Training Verizon provides its employees?
Verizon Wireless utilizes a program called SafeWork, which is supported by Safe Horizon, a New York-based nonprofit organization that assists victims of abuse. As part of a Verizon Wireless management training initiative, supervisors at Verizon Wireless call centers take part in a 90-minute training session to heighten awareness of domestic violence and its impact on the workplace, and to supply information on how best to assist employees coping with domestic violence situations. As part of the program, supervisors watch the film depicting a woman experiencing domestic violence, then participate in a facilitated conversation to discuss possible scenarios. The program is also in the process of being rolled out to employees at many retail stores throughout the country.
Since the launch of the HopeLine phone recycling program in 2001, Hopeline from Verizon has collected more than 7 million phones, given out more than $7.9 million in cash grants, and distributed more than 90,000 phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service for use by domestic violence survivors. In addition, Verizon has properly disposed of 1.6 million no-longer-used wireless phones in an environmentally sound way and kept more than 200 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
“Telling Amy’s Story” Background
The “Telling Amy’s Story” documentary is really an outgrowth, an extension of Verizon’s support of an innovative domestic violence prevention training program at Penn State University.
About three years ago, the Verizon Foundation awarded a grant to Penn State Public Broadcasting to fund the creation of a domestic violence prevention video that would be used to train employees and students to spot the signs of domestic violence and how best to offer support and assistance to those in need.
Penn State has rolled out that training at more than 20 campuses throughout the state of Pennsylvania. After seeing the success of the program, Penn State came back to the Verizon Foundation and proposed expanding the video to make it into a documentary that could air on public broadcasting stations throughout the country to bring this important story to a larger audience.
The Verizon Foundation is very proud to have awarded more than $400,000 in grants to Penn State Public Broadcasting to support this groundbreaking project.
Since it’s release in May, nearly 300 local public television stations have aired the documentary; reaching approximately 4.6 million viewers and growing.
Telling Amy’s Story Website: www.telling.psu.edu – there you will find additional resources in English and Spanish, and a list of upcoming airings.