Cell Phones Offer A Safety Net For Domestic Violence Victims

Cell phones are very convenient. They give us the opportunity to connect with family and friends. They help to provide access to the internet and email accounts. More importantly, cell phones help in cases of emergencies.

Last year, more than 91 percent of adults in the United States owned cell phones, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center.

However, what do people do with their old cell phones?

Some people recycle their used phones by giving them back to the manufacturer or their local recycling center. Others resell their outdated wireless to companies or professional buyers.

On the other hand, thousands of people are donating their old cell phones to non-profit programs like HopeLine from Verizon Wireless.

Thousands of domestic violence victims and survivors are able to reach support and emergency services when facing a crisis by using cell phones. In addition, victims are able to connect with family, friends, and employers in their time of need.

Over three million children in the United States are affected by domestic violence. In addition, one in four women and one and seven men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

In an effort the help support domestic violence victims and survivors, HopeLine donated hundreds of thousands of cell phones to domestic violence organizations since 2001. They have also awarded over $21 million in cash grants to these same support groups.

In October, Verizon's HopeLine program supporters set up drop boxes at Denver's Mile High Stadium for people to donate their old cell phones at the Thursday night football game. The Denver Broncos football team and fans were there to show their support by donating their used or outdated cell phones.

CBS Denver interviewed Chris Lewter, regional president for Verizon Wireless, and this is what he had to say about their efforts to end domestic violence.

"Domestic violence is a hidden epidemic in the United States, and it can have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities alike. At Verizon, we are committed to ending domestic violence and using technologies to support survivors. We are proud to have the support of the Denver Broncos and their fans."
Verizon's HopeLine program will be collecting used cell phones at each gate before Sunday night's Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears game, according to NBC26. The Packers have collaborated with Bellin Health and Verizon Wireless to gather up more cell phone donations to aid domestic violence survivors.

NBC26 reports that last year, across the state of Wisconsin, over $70,000 in cash grants were awarded to domestic violence survivors, and 11,000 phones were donated to the HopeLine program, as well.

If people want to donate their used cell phones and they cannot attend the game, they can drop the phone off at any Verizon Wireless Communication store.

Even when they're old and used up, cell phones have become an integral part of our lives.