Verizon Wireless has made a serious corporate commitment to the issue of domestic violence. To begin, Verizon Wireless created the Hopeline Program which focuses on putting wireless products and services to work to assist the victims of domestic violence – a “safety net” service which includes:
- Pre-programmed 911 phones
- *Hope connects to the National DV Hotline (By dialing #HOPE from a Verizon Wireless phone on the carrier’s nationwide network, a person in need of information and resources regarding domestic violence will get an immediate connection to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) and a step towards safety and independence. The call is toll and airtime free. For more information about HOPELINE or to find out how to donate phones, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
- Voicemail boxes in local shelters
- Monetary donations
- Sponsorships – The Verizon Wireless Women’s Cycling Team competes where all prize monies are donated to domestic violence causes. The team also raises awareness for the Hopeline program
- National and local launches of the “Phone Recycling Program”at store locations and regional facilities
- “Invest in Yourself” Programs – members of the Human Resources Teams partner with local shelters and assist women with programs covering job search, resume writing, the interview process, etc.
- Dating Violence Awareness – Verizon Wireless Illinois Wisconsin Region has been working with both the high schools and college campuses to spread the word about the issue. See samples of the posters displayed at schools: “Knife” Poster and “Fist” Poster
Verizon Wireless HopeLine™ Program 2007 Achievements and Milestones:
- April 27, 2007 – Sixteen-year-old Boy Scout Daniel Pucillo was named a Verizon Wireless HopeLine Hero in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the company’s HopeLine phone recycling program. In recognition of Pucillo’s accomplishment, Verizon Wireless donated $1000 to Brighter Tomorrows of Suffolk County, New York.
- April 26, 2007 – Verizon Wireless presented three Omaha Police Officers, Wendi Dye, Christopher McElligott and Richard Raper, with its HopeLine® Law Enforcement Partnership Award. The three officers were selected for their efforts as “first responders” to domestic violence situations by aiding victims with vital resources for safety, services and other needed assistance. Verizon Wireless presented the award, along with a $10,000 financial grant to the YWCA-Omaha for its domestic violence awareness and prevention efforts.
- April 16, 2007 – Verizon Wireless announced that since January 2007, HopeLine collected more than 250,000 no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories and 9,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries, and provided more than $350,000 in donations to local domestic violence agencies nationwide.
- March 15, 2007 – Verizon Wireless, the technology sponsor of the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s 2007 National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence in San Francisco, California, hosted a HopeLine Internet Action Café at the conference. The HopeLine Internet Action Café allowed health care professionals, researchers, domestic violence advocates, students, and survivors attending the conference to access their e-mail and the Internet via laptops with BroadbandAccess Cards provided by Verizon Wireless.
- March 8, 2007 – To commemorate the grand opening of a Verizon Wireless Communications Store in Atlanta, Georgia, Verizon Wireless presented a $500 HopeLine® grant to the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence. The Women’s Resource Center provides informational resources and critical support to victims of abuse.
- March 5, 2007 – A new charitable walk that will help raise funds for Milwaukee-area domestic violence programs is announced. Scheduled for Sunday, May 6, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Presented by Verizon Wireless is a unique men’s march that invites all members of the community to literally walk a mile in women’s shoes to raise awareness and funds for programs that help those affected by domestic violence.
- January 2007 – Verizon Wireless donated more than $95,000 in HopeLine grants to nine domestic violence organizations throughout the Northern California/Nevada region.
- January 24, 2007 – Verizon Wireless announced it will donate $50,000 through its HopeLine program to Break the Cycle for “TheSafeSpace.org,” a one-of-a-kind online community designed to connect, communicate and inform. The site will give teens nationwide access to the information and resources needed to understand and develop healthy relationships.
- January 3, 2007 – BJ’s Wholesale Clubs and Verizon Wireless announced that used wireless phones and accessories will be collected at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores within BJ’s Wholesale Clubs throughout New York State. The program launches in conjunction with the New York State law requiring wireless phone retailers to accept and recycle old cell phones.
Recognizing that their employees are over 50% female, Verizon Wireless also fosters internal awareness and programs for Verizon Wireless employees. The company has complete leadership and support from the highest levels regarding this issue and the steps taken to assist employees. Verizon Wireless has done the following:
- Included a statement of Workplace Violence & Threats as well as Domestic Violence in their Employee Code of Business Conduct – this code is reviewed at new hire orientation and every year as an employee of Verizon Wireless.
- To raise awareness, domestic violence posters were hung in all Verizon Wireless facilities – with National Domestic Violence Hotline information provided.
The Company’s Full Awareness Program during Domestic Violence Awareness Month includes:
- Silent Witness Program
- Clothesline Project Display
- Materials available from local shelters, etc
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The local women’s shelters are included in Verizon Wireless Annual Health & Benefits Fairs, where they are available to provide educational information on domestic violence, teen dating, etc.
Most importantly, Verizon Wireless fosters an environment that allows for anyone to come forward discreetly to seek assistance – the statement in their Employee Code of Business Conduct that domestic violence is a workplace issue is clearly the starting point for fostering trust.
Verizon Wireless Human Resource Professionals are educated on what they can do to assist employees who are victims – and their headquarters legal team is also there for guidance along the way. The Human Resource role is not to advise the employee as to what they need to do, but instead to provide them with the means for them to get help from the trained professionals to keep them and their children safe through:
- EAP – 24 hr referral service
- Information kept on hand from the local women’s shelters
- National DV Hotline
HR professionals are also empowered to work with any special needs/requests and work with the employee on providing assistance. For instance:
- Change in shift or work location
- Temporary reduction in work hours
- Leave of absence
- Security available to walk the employee to their car
- Possibly assist with other work locations throughout the country in those more serious situations. (Verizon Wireless has done this already!)
Foster Employee Volunteerism through:
- Clothing drives
- Wish List drives
- Holiday collections
- Volunteering at the local shelter