Since the passage of the landmark Violence Against Women Act in 1994, individuals and organizations across the country, in Massachusetts, and right here in Berkshire County have worked hard to strengthen the response to domestic violence crimes. During National Domestic Violence Awareness month, we recommit ourselves to end violence in our homes, neighborhoods and communities by raising public awareness of the problem and honoring victims and survivors of domestic violence through prevention, campaigns, educational programs, community events and vigils.
In an effort to support victims of domestic violence, the Berkshire District Attorney, in partnership with local law enforcement, will once again coordinate the Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone recycling program.
The HopeLine program collects any wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider. Phones that can be refurbished are sold and those without value are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, keeping tons of electronic waste out of landfills. Proceeds are used to provide wireless phones with full voice service and voicemail to women as part of their safety plan, plus cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations focused on domestic violence awareness and prevention.
The Office campaign has collected well over 1,500 phones and hundreds of accessories, and Verizon Wireless has recognized our community effort through awards to local agencies to support their domestic violence programs. For the past three years the Elizabeth Freeman Center has been awarded $1,000, and last year Elder Services of the Berkshires also received $1,000 in funding.
District Attorney Capeless says, "It is my privilege to coordinate this program for the safety of those suffering in domestic violence situations. I am grateful to our partners in law enforcement who have joined me in this important effort. I am also thankful to the Berkshire Eagle and local radio stations whose support has allowed us to inform the public."
Phones and accessories may be dropped off at the District Attorney's Office in Pittsfield and North Adams, at the Berkshire County House of Correction, and at local and state police departments. For more information on donating, please contact the Office at 413-443-5951.