The following is a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.
WOBURN – In recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced the proceeds of 112 forfeited cell phones will be donated to benefit Portal To Hope, an organization that works to end domestic violence.
District Attorney Ryan was joined today, October 30, by State Representative Paul Donato, State Representative Joseph McGonagle, Everett Chief of Police Steven Mazzie and Founder and Executive Director of Portal To Hope Deborah Fallon.
“When victims of domestic violence are seeking to leave abusive situations, they often are forced to abandon their personal cell phones in an effort to sever ties with their abusers,” said District Attorney Ryan. “The proceeds from these phones will allow domestic violence survivors to maintain communication with their loved ones. Providing phone services to domestic violence survivors, gives them increased access to the help they need.”
The cell phones, obtained through the drug forfeiture process, are recycled for parts. Those proceeds will go directly to Portal To Hope and will be used for investing in phone-related costs including calling cards for domestic violence survivors, emergency cell phones and costs associated with the Portal To Hope hotline.
District Attorney Ryan is addressing issues surrounding domestic violence through a comprehensive approach using education, training and outreach in addition to prosecution to promote prevention and provide resources for victims.
District Attorney Ryan created her Office’s Domestic Violence Pro Bono Initiative, a first-of-its kind partnership, designed to address the significant gap in the way domestic violence victims are served during the restraining order process. The office has partnered with 13 Boston-area civil law firms to identify victims who need legal assistance and then assign a private attorney to provide representation free of charge.
Assistant District Attorneys are unable to represent domestic violence victims during the restraining order process because the order is a civil document.
District Attorney Ryan also works to raise public awareness about domestic violence and inform the community about resources that are available through programs like Cut It Out, a nation-wide domestic violence prevention program geared towards salon professionals.
Portal To Hope is an award-winning, nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to people whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes. Portal To Hope works on a grassroots level to educate the public about the consequences of domestic violence and the crime’s impact on not only individual and family lives but also its impact on the workplace, in school environments and communities-at-large.