November 27, 2009 | Healthcare
Pilot Program Funded by Verizon Foundation Helps Domestic Violence Victims Use Technology to Protect Vital Information
he National Family Justice Center Alliance (NFJCA) announced the launch of a pilot program, funded by a grant from the Verizon Foundation, to help victims of domestic violence protect and store vital legal and financial information via electronic safety deposit boxes. The announcement was made on Oct. 1 at the Family Justice Center of Hillsborough County, Fla., one of the program's pilot locations.
"Domestic violence is a traumatic experience for survivors and their families," said Nikki Daniels, executive director of the Family Justice Center of Hillsborough County. "This program will help ease the burden by making it easier for them to keep track of their important papers, pictures, medical records, police reports and other documents, while knowing all of their information is in a safe place."
About 200 domestic violence victims in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., area, as well as victims in the other pilot areas - San Diego, Calif.; Nampa, Idaho; and New Orleans, La., - will use a portable, password-protected electronic safety deposit box to securely store information at a Family Justice Center location.
"Technology is the center of our business, so we believe it only makes sense to share our experience to use technology in helping law enforcement and service agencies protect survivors of domestic violence," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "We are pleased to partner with the National Family Justice Center Alliance and the agencies participating in the pilot to introduce this new program."
This is the latest innovation by the Family Justice Center Institute (FJCI), also funded by a Verizon Foundation grant. FJCI has developed programs that use technology and best practices to streamline services and provide training for Family Justice Center employees and volunteers. The Family Justice Centers provide comprehensive services to domestic violence victims in a single location.
"This new program uses technology to meet the needs of victims, and it has the potential to be used in domestic violence agencies across America," said Casey Gwinn, president of NFJCA, at the program launch in Tampa.
"At Verizon, we believe technology can play a key role in helping victims of domestic violence remain safe and more quickly receive the assistance and services they need," said Michelle Robinson, Verizon Southeast president.
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