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TMCNet:  Innovative Training Program Teaches Advocates How Technology Can Help Keep Domestic Violence Victims Safe

[August 09, 2007]

Innovative Training Program Teaches Advocates How Technology Can Help Keep Domestic Violence Victims Safe

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Next week, more than 100 advocates from across the nation will learn how wireless and other technology can be used to increase personal safety and privacy in an innovative training program at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza.



The training, held August 13-16, 2007, is part of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Fund's Technology Safety Training of Trainers, is designed to explore the life-saving uses of technology for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking victims.

The training also helps law enforcement and prosecutors to hold perpetrators accountable for misusing technology to stalk, harass or harm their victims.

"Through our Safety Net project and the Technology Safety Training of Trainers, NNEDV Fund equips victims and their advocates with the tools they need to safely navigate a hi-tech world," said Cindy Southworth, Director of NNEDV Fund's Safety Net project. "We provide a wide range of advice to victims such as using safe computers like those found in a public library, community tech center or Internet cafe, or a trusted friend's house."

This fifth annual training, funded through a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, will bring nationally recognized experts in technology, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking together to train advocates on the strategic use of technology to enhance personal safety. Trained advocates will then take the tools and train other members of their community.

"Whether it's a cell phone that provides a lifeline to help or a web site that provides tips on how to stay safe, technology can play a key role in assisting those impacted by domestic violence," said Cheryl Bini Armbrecht, Regional Director of Community Relations for Verizon Wireless. "We're proud to partner with the National Network to End Domestic Violence Fund in this innovative program as part of Verizon's commitment to the issue of domestic violence prevention."

More than 100 domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking advocates will attend the training in Kansas City for sessions such as "Youth and Internet Victimization," "Investigating Technology Crimes" and hands on stations and demonstrations to learn about different technologies, devices and models.

"When I was the director of Hope House, I remember when batterers used to track their victims' movements by checking the mileage gauge on the car. Now, GPS systems, spyware and other devices are becoming commonplace. Victims, advocates and law enforcement need to know how to identify the signs that technology is being misused and how to document the misuse," said Sue Else, President of NNEDV Fund.

NNEDV Fund's Safety Net project launched in 2002 as the foremost leader in technology and victim safety issues. Through the Technology Safety Training of Trainers and other specialized events, Safety Net has trained more than 22,000 advocates, law enforcement officials and prosecutors on how technology can be used to increase the safety and confidentiality of victims of domestic violence.

Verizon has developed a focused approach to raise awareness about domestic violence and supply technology tools needed to provide immediate and ongoing support for domestic violence victims. Building on Verizon Wireless' longstanding commitment to domestic violence prevention through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program, Verizon has embraced the issue across the corporation with volunteer initiatives and strategic grants from the Verizon Foundation.

Since October 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 3.5 million wireless phones. The program has disposed of more than 800,000 of these handsets in an environmentally sound way and refurbished the remaining phones for resale and reuse.

Other sponsors of the Technology Safety Training of Trainers include the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, Symantec, McAfee, AOL, and Microsoft.

About NNEDV Fund
The National Network to End Domestic Violence Fund (NNEDV Fund) is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing public education, training and technical assistance to maintain and develop the professional expertise of advocates working to end domestic violence. The NNEDV Fund strives to strengthen advocates as organizers and activists in the tradition of social change movements. For more information, please visit http://www.nnedvfund.org/.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 62.1 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, with 67,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone . Find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com/. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is committed to improving literacy and K-12 education; fostering awareness and prevention of domestic violence; and promoting the use of technology in health-care delivery. In 2006, the foundation awarded more than $69 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched charitable donations from Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $29 million in combined contributions. Under the foundation's Verizon Volunteer initiative, one of the nation's largest employee-volunteer programs, company employees and retirees have also contributed nearly 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

National Network to End Domestic Violence Fund

CONTACT: Carrie Goldstein, +1-954-712-2300,carrie@impactimageonline.com, for the National Network to End DomesticViolence Fund; Cheryl Bini Armbrecht of Verizon Wireless, +1-314-920-4444,+1-314-973-1294 (cell), cheryl.bini@verizonwireless.com

Web site: http://www.nnedvfund.org/http://www.verizonwireless.com/

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