October 10th, 2012
Verizon policies to aid domestic violence victims
NEW YORK, NY – Verizon has committed to improving its policies and service regarding joint contract termination for customers who are domestic violence survivors, after more than 190,000 people joined a popular campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change.
Cindy Butterworth, a librarian in the Brighton (NY) public school system, led the campaign after her sister, Carol, survived domestic violence but struggled to cancel her shared contract with her abuser without paying a $500 cancellation fee. Within a few weeks, over 190,000 people joined Cindy’s campaign.
“This is absolutely incredible news for me, for my family, and for all victims attempting to regain control of their lives,” said Butterworth, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “This is proof that one voice can make a difference, all it takes is speaking up and asking others for support.”
“We can feel good knowing that no one else will ever have to go through what my sister did,” Butterworth added. “Verizon does great work on domestic violence issues through programs like HopeLine - I’m pleased to know that their policies will now align with their efforts to support victims. The new policies aren’t only focused on the early termination fees, but they also have really put together a comprehensive set of policies that will train Verizon employees to give survivors even more help and connect them with resources to start the healing process.”
A Verizon representative called Cindy to let her know about the change, saying that after reviewing Cindy’s story they realized that they needed stronger policies to make sure this didn’t happen to other domestic violence victims.
“As part of Verizon Wireless’s ongoing commitment to help end domestic violence, on October 1, we will be launching our annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities. As part of those activities, we will be updating our customer service policy and adding specific language to our training and online tools in order to clarify protocols on assisting domestic violence victims and survivors,” said Verizon spokesperson Elva Lima.
Verizon has also asked that Cindy and her family remain part of the process as the company implements these updated policies.
“Seeing Cindy’s campaign on Change.org push for - and achieve - better policies at a company as big as Verizon has been incredible,” said Rachel LaBruyere, Deputy Campaign Director. “Cindy was tireless in her dedication to this campaign, both for her own sister and for the millions of other people who experience domestic violence every year.”