ADT-Sponsored Domestic Violence Program Helps Save Lives

A Martinsburg, W.Va. woman's life was saved recently thanks to a nationwide domestic violence program offered by ADT Security Services, Inc. The AWARE (Abused Women's Active Response Emergency) program, which provides free security systems and emergency necklace pendants to victims of domestic violence, was launched in the victim's community, Berkley County, W.Va., in April 1998.

The AWARE program was first launched in the United States in 1992 and has received national acclaim for its efforts to assist in the protection of victims of domestic violence. The program has been credited with saving the lives of 30 domestic violence victims in the United States.

"The rescue of a domestic violence victim from her abuser in Martinsburg, W.Va., this week highlights the effectiveness of the AWARE Program," said Mike Snyder, president, ADT Security Services, Inc. "We are pleased we can offer a program that shows our support for the local communities in which we conduct business and our concern for the growing incidence of domestic violence nationwide."

The rescued victim, who has participated in the AWARE Program since 2004, had a court-issued protective order and was in the process of divorcing her husband. The victim used her ADT emergency necklace pendant to summon law enforcement after being threatened at knifepoint by her spouse who was out of prison on a criminal bond for previously attempting to strangle the victim.

In Berkeley County, the AWARE Program is operated through the collaborative efforts of ADT Security Services, Shenandoah Women's Center, West Virginia State Police ' Berkeley County, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department and Martinsburg City Police Department.

"We appreciate the great relationship that exists between Shenandoah Women's Center, local law enforcement and ADT, which allows us to help protect victims in the AWARE Program," said Ann Smith, executive director, Shenandoah Women's Center.

For 13 years, the AWARE Program has proven an effective tool for communities in their efforts to prevent and prosecute domestic violence cases. After people who meet the necessary criteria are placed in the program, ADT installs, at no charge, security systems in each of their homes and provides them with emergency necklace pendants for as long as the need exists. The pendants can send a silent alarm, when activated, to ADT's customer monitoring center.

If a person involved in the program feels in imminent danger of attack, he or she presses either the pendant or the emergency button on the security system panel mounted in their home. ADT operators can then alert the appropriate law enforcement agency that an AWARE call has been received. Officers will then be dispatched to the victim's residence on a priority basis.

ADT recently launched the 175th AWARE Program in Albuquerque, N.M. and has plans to expand this program to even more cities in the United States during the coming year.

A similar program has been running successfully in a number of Canadian cities for the past 14 years.