Initiative Aims to Connect Domestic Violence Victims to Services

RICHMOND, Va. — Some Virginia law enforcement officials are being equipped with cellphones that will help them connect domestic violence victims to services.

Through a partnership with Attorney General Mark Herring, Verizon Wireless is loaning 500 mobile phones to Virginia law enforcement officers to help them utilize a tool designed to identify domestic violence victims at risk for further abuse.

First responders will ask victims a set of questions aimed at predicting whether they are in danger of further harm. If they are determined to be at risk, officers need phones to connect victims to community services.

Herring’s office says many departments don’t issue phones and some don’t allow officers to carry personal phones. Victims often don’t want to use their own phones because they fear retaliation from their abuser.

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