AG Herring announces program to help domestic violence victims
10/13/2016, 4:08 p.m.
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring is teaming up with Verizon Wireless in a bid to reduce deaths from domestic violence.
On Wednesday, the telecom giant announced it would lend 500 cell phones to law enforcement agencies for use in helping abuse victims and their children connect with resources so they can escape before a situation turns fatal.
Mr. Herring praised the company for pitching in on efforts to reduce domestic homicides, support victims and implement a life-saving program called “Lethality Assessment Protocol.”
He noted that one in four murders in Virginia is the result of violence involving family members or intimate partners.
Domestic violence homicides are preventable, he said, but the statistics in Virginia remain alarming.
Every year, more than 20,000 people are arrested for assaulting household members, according to state crime figures. The figures show that 2,278 people lost their lives during the past 16 years to domestic and dating violence, including 97 people in 2015.
Verizon is providing the phones through its HopeLine program, which accepts old phones, refurbishes them and then makes them available to domestic violence prevention agencies and abused individuals, along with free minutes.
Since 2001, the company has provided more than 80,000 phones to victims across the country to give them a way to seek emergency help or support services.