They brought them in droves: some brought them in bags, others came in boxes, while still more came from as far away as Staten Island. Nothing seemed to stop citizens from bringing their used cell phones to Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman’s (D/WF—Brooklyn) District Office. These phones were presented to District Attorney Charles Hynes on Thursday, March 27, 2003 at his office at 350 Jay Street.
“For the past month, I have been collecting cell phones to present to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where they will be distributed to victims of domestic violence,” said Millman.
“Tragically, domestic violence still affects thousands of women. As Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Task Force on Women’s Issues, this initiative was part of my effort during women’s history month to bring both aid and attention to victims of domestic violence. I am glad to provide over one hundred women with a measure of safety they did not have before,” said Millman.
Since the program’s inception in 1995, twenty perpetrators have been arrested on counts of domestic violence because of cell phones victims received from the District Attorney’s Office. The number of arrests does not account for the number of calls made to 911 from these phones.
“It works, it really works,” said District Attorney Charles Hynes. Raising a phone in his hand, Hynes stated, “Just one of these instruments can save a person’s life.”
Representatives from Safe Horizon Counseling Center and the Center Against Domestic Violence as well as the domestic violence officers from the 78th Precinct also attended the event.
While Assemblywoman Millman plans to make this a yearly event, she encourages those who wish to donate cell phones to contact Mary Fontaine with District Attorney’s office. She can be reached at (718) 250-2316.