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April 5, 2012

Kristine Brown
DCF Press Office: 609-633-8507

NJ Department of Children and Families Partners With Verizon’s Hopeline to Provide Wireless Phones to Victims of Domestic Violence

TRENTON, NJ – Nearly one-third of all American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. More than one million people report a violent assault by an intimate partner every year in the United States. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and providing support and services to the victims takes on many forms.

The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) is partnering with HopeLine® from Verizon, a national cell phone recycling and re-use program that turns no-longer-used wireless phones into support for victims of domestic violence.

Since the program’s inception, the Department of Children and Families, along with several other departments within the state such as Agriculture, Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Community Affairs, has collected over 350 wireless phones and donated them to HopeLine so victims of abuse can call emergency or support services, employers, family or friends.

Allison Blake, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, said, “We are proud to work with Verizon and the HopeLine program to provide victims of abuse with a simple tool to help them feel safer and less isolated. Although many of us take cell phones for granted these days, for victims of domestic violence, access to this simple device can save a life or stop a cycle of abuse. One simple call can change a woman’s life and get her to a safe place.”

Blake said her department, as well as others throughout the state, have placed Verizon HopeLine donation boxes at various sites throughout New Jersey. Anyone who has an old phone they are no longer using is encouraged to donate it to HopeLine.

“The HopeLine Program provides an invaluable service to women and children in New Jersey impacted by the perils of domestic violence,” added First Lady Mary Pat Christie.  “I commend the partnership developed by the Department of Children and Families and Verizon to help prevent the cycle of domestic abuse and give women the courage to move forward with a life without violence.”

According to Verizon, phones donated 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 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 applaud the Department of Children and Families and their sister agencies for their outstanding support of our HopeLine program,” said Verizon Wireless Regional President Mario Turco. “Domestic violence is a pervasive problem and through this partnership we can continue to ensure that a simple cell phone donation will make a lasting impact on the lives of domestic violence survivors in New Jersey and across the U.S.”

Blake noted one of the special features of the HopeLine program is the #HOPE service available across Verizon Wireless’ nationwide network.

“By dialing #HOPE and then pressing send from any Verizon Wireless phone, callers are connected directly to the National Domestic Violence Hotline where they can receive the confidential help they need through empowerment-based crisis intervention, information and resources,” Blake emphasized. For more information about HopeLine from Verizon, visit To learn more about the Department of Children and Families, visit

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