Donated telephones support effort to confront domestic violence

November 16, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

As part of a statewide initiative to combat domestic violence, the Carroll County state's attorney's office will receive five cellular phones for abuse victims to use in emergencies.

The phones are part of a state effort to get businesses involved in helping to protect victims of domestic violence, officials say.

Partners Against Violence: The CEO Challenge, announced last month by the Attorney General's and Lieutenant Governor's Family Violence Council, is designed to confront domestic violence in the workplace by enlisting employers in the fight.

Last year in Maryland, 14,721 protective orders were sought by victims of domestic violence and an estimated half of those created problems in the workplace, state officials said.

Audrey Schaefer, a spokeswoman for Bell Atlantic Mobile, said the cellular phone initiative began in 1996, with the donation of 25 phones each to Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Another 25 were given in August to the Howard County state's attorney's office.

In all, 300 phones have been donated at a cost of about $150,000 over the three years, Schaefer said.

In Prince George's County, the Bell Atlantic program reaped perhaps its biggest reward this year when a man, confronted at work by his shotgun-toting ex-wife, used a donated phone to get police help, Schaefer said.

In addition to the five phones headed for Carroll County, Schaefer said 100 have been earmarked for the Maryland State Police domestic violence initiative.

Capt. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman, said procedures on how the telephones would be divided would be worked out.

Pub Date: 11/16/98

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