Building on the success of last year's drive and to recognize National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is once again holding a cell phone recycling drive throughout the month of October to benefit victims of domestic violence and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV).
Throughout the month of October, the public is invited to drop off old and discarded cell phones and cell phone accessories at the Office of Attorney General in Providence and courthouse offices in Newport, Providence, Warwick, and Wakefield. In addition to refurbishing phones, the drive also disposes of old cell phones in an environmentally safe way.
"Chances are, we all know someone who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, but talking about or getting involved is still taboo for many," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "It is time we all stood up and said 'No More" to domestic violence and sexual assault. Whether it is talking to our children about the issue, volunteering our time at a domestic violence shelter, or the simple act of donating an old phone to help victims, we can make a difference, empower victims of domestic violence and support local organizations across Rhode Island working to stop violence in the home."
A new, national survey underscores the urgent need for the campaign, revealing that the overwhelming majority of Americans know victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but they do not talk about the issues with their children or friends, or take steps to help survivors.
The study "NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults," conducted by GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, shows an urgent need for increased awareness, conversation and education around domestic violence and sexual assault, with an emphasis on what bystanders can do to prevent violence and help victims before it is too late.
Among the key findings: o 60% of Americans know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
o Three out of four (73%) parents with children under the age of 18 said that they have not had a conversation about domestic violence or sexual assault with their children.
o 67% of Americans say they have not talked about domestic violence with their friends; even more, 73% have not discussed sexual assault.
o Even though 75% of Americans say that they would step in and help a stranger being abused, the reality is most people do not help.
o For example, among the 70% of women who experienced domestic violence and then told someone about it, more than half (58%) said that no one helped them.
o But 64% of Americans say if we talk more about domestic violence and sexual assault, it would make it easier to help someone.
Cell phones can become an effective tool in the fight against domestic violence. Instead of being discarded, an old phone can be put to good use against domestic abuse through a cell phone recycling program. Cell phones are refurbished and then reprogrammed and used as E-911 phones for individuals in the community at risk of domestic violence. This communication may provide a critical link between law enforcement and a victim of domestic violence who is in a life-threatening emergency.
"When community members - bystanders - donate their cell phones this October, they are doing much more than giving victims the ability to safely communicate, they are possibly preventing a domestic violence tragedy," said Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence. By partnering with the Attorney General's Office, Verizon Wireless and local domestic violence agencies here in Rhode Island, we can make sure that victims have access to emergency shelter, support services and cell phones that can connect them to 911 in the case of an emergency. Together, these tools and resources can help us save lives. It will take these collective efforts by each and every one of us to end domestic violence. We encourage Rhode Islanders to visit our website, nomoreri.org, for bystander tools designed to help them KNOW MORE to DO MORE."
Cell phones not utilized for this purpose will be recycled through HopeLine®, a Verizon Wireless phone recycling program that supports 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. Additionally, new HopeLine 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 sound way under a zero landfill policy.
"We are grateful to community residents who donate phones to HopeLine. Their contributions help provide a vital link between domestic violence victims and emergency services, family and friends," said 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."
How it Works: Donate old and discarded cell phones, batteries, chargers and all other cell phone accessories at any of the drop-off locations below.
Privacy Concerns: The Office of Attorney General takes the protection of consumer information seriously. We encourage everyone who plans to donate a cell phone to erase any personal data on the phone before donating.
As part of its own recycling process, phones donated specifically to HopeLine are put through an extensive refurbishing process to ensure that personal data such as phone numbers, messages, games and images are all removed. For more information please visit www.verizonwireless.com/HopeLine
Locations: Drop-off locations are at Attorney General offices inside the various courthouses. Drop-off hours: 8:30 am. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Office of the Attorney General 150 South Main Street Providence
Licht Judicial Complex 2nd Floor, 250 Benefit Street Providence
Kent County Courthouse James W. Leighton Judicial Complex 222 Quaker Lane Warwick
Newport County Court House Eisenhower Square Newport
Washington County Courthouse McGrath Judicial Complex 4800 Tower Hill Road Wakefield
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the six domestic violence prevention agencies in Rhode Island. The organization not only supports and gives leadership to the six member agencies, but also strives to create justice for victims, and create awareness on the issue of domestic violence in RI.