Today was a call to action for the Tri-Cities. The launch of an initiative to collect cell phones for victims of domestic violence is now underway.
Nikki Gausman is Executive Director of S.A.F.E. Center in Kearney. She says, "We hope these cell phones can be used for anyone in need and is experiencing violence in their home. This can increase their safety."
Coordinators say access to cell phones and law enforcement is critical for those living in abusive situations. Gausman says these phones may be the only lifeline available for victims.
"A lot of cases, what we see is that their phones have been broken, they have been hidden or taken away by the abusive person in that relationship," said Gausman.
The donated phones provide access to 9-1-1 and are meant to serve as a second phone. Victims can keep them without their abuser knowing.
Shellie Pointer is Executive Director of The Crisis Center in Grand Island. She says some abuse victims don't have any form of communication at all.
"In an abusive relationship, a lot of times, the victims don't have a cell phone because of the controlling issues," said Pointer. She added, "For us to be able to provide the 9-1-1 phones is going to be tremendous because this is just one more way of helping them be safe."
Storm Hockey will collect new and used cell phones at all of their home games this season at Viaero Event Center in Kearney. If you wish to donate, you can also drop off phones at any Viaero Wireless store in the Tri-Cities.