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Attorney General Kilmartin and Verizon Team up to Raise $2,500 for the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence

As a result of a month long cell phone recycling drive held by Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and the Office of Attorney General, Verizon Wireless made a $2,500 HopeLine contribution to the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) to provide financial assistance to local non-profit organizations focused on supporting victims of domestic violence.

Officials from Verizon and the RICADV recently visited with employees from the Newport County Office to thank the staff for their collection efforts and their dedication to supporting victims of domestic violence. For the third year in a row, the employees in the Newport County office collected the most phones of all offices.

"The simple act of donating an old cell phone can help a victim of domestic violence get emergency help and access to resources to end the cycle of violence. For someone in an abusive, controlling and violent relationship, a cell phone is much greater than a convenience, it is a lifeline," said Attorney General Kilmartin.

Kilmartin expressed appreciation for the staff for their support of the program, as well as the many law enforcement and community organizations in Newport County that participated in the cell phone drive. Several police departments, including Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth and Tiverton, as well as the security staff at Newport Grand, and employees of the Newport County Courthouse collected old cell phones throughout the year to support the initiative. In addition, many private citizens who heard about the drive also dropped off cell phones. Now in its third year, the cell phone drive has turned into something of a contest amongst the staff of the different Attorney General offices.

"As prosecutors, we see the devastating and heartbreaking end result of domestic violence. To work on these types of cases day in and day out can be emotionally challenging. This cell phone drive is a fun and somewhat competitive way for the employees, law enforcement, and the community to help people before they become victims of domestic violence," continued Kilmartin.

"It is through community involvement in efforts such as this cell phone drive, that we will end domestic violence. In coming together we accomplish many things: we are helping others to KNOW MORE about how to help victims of domestic violence; and we are giving victims the ability to safely communicate. By doing so, we also possibly prevent a domestic violence tragedy. We commend everyone who collected or donated a phone during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Though it is over, our work to end this abuse is not. It will take collective efforts by each and every one of us to end domestic violence. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence is committed to educating bystanders and will provide additional tools, resources and training in the months to come," said Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

"We are grateful to Rhode Island residents who continue to generously recycle phones through the HopeLine program. These contributions help provide a vital link between domestic violence victims and emergency services, family and friends," commented Christine Berberich, New England Region President for Verizon Wireless. "Donating a phone to HopeLine is an easy way to support organizations throughout the state, like the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, that help address this very serious issue."

HopeLine® is a Verizon Wireless phone recycling program supporting domestic violence coalitions throughout the country, including the RICADV. Wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished and sold for reuse, generating proceeds for the program. Refurbished phones – complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service – are provided to local domestic violence organizations or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients. If donated phones are unsalvageable, they are recycled in an environmentally friendly way under a zero landfill policy.

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