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D.A. Ryan Donates Proceeds From Sale Of Forfeited Cell Phones

Feb 02, 2017 08:29PM ● By Theresa Gilman

Left to Right: Marian Ryan, Middlesex District Attorney; Maridelviz Ramirez Medina, Advocate with Alternative House

(Editor's Note: the following information was submitted by the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.) 

WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that the proceeds from the sale of over 250 forfeited cell phones, approximately $2,000, were donated to Voices Against Violence, a program sponsored by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) to end sexual and domestic violence, and to Alternative House, a Lowell-area organization that offers shelter and support for survivors of domestic violence and their children.

The cell phones, obtained through the drug forfeiture process, are recycled for parts. The funds will be used to purchase pre-paid calling cards for survivors of domestic violence.

“When survivors of domestic violence leave abusive relationships, they often are forced to abandon their personal cell phones in an effort to sever ties with their abusers,” said District Attorney Ryan. “These calling cards allow domestic violence survivors to remain in communication with their loved ones, while enabling and empowering them to continue receiving services from the community-based domestic violence organizations that are so critical to their health and safety needs.”

District Attorney Ryan is addressing issues surrounding domestic violence through a comprehensive approach using education, training and outreach.

District Attorney Ryan also directs the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office's Domestic Violence Pro Bono Initiative. This first-of-its kind partnership is designed to address a significant gap in services for domestic violence survivors in the restraining order process. The Office identifies victims who need legal assistance and then, working with 13 Boston area law firms, assigns a private attorney to provide representation free of charge. Assistant District Attorneys cannot represent survivors of domestic violence in the restraining order process, because the order is a civil document.

District Attorney Ryan works to raise public awareness about domestic violence and inform the community about resources that are available through programs like Cut It Out, a nation-wide domestic violence prevention program geared towards salon professionals. The District Attorney’s Office has played a leadership role in developing nine domestic violence high-risk assessment and rapid response teams that operate in different parts of Middlesex County.

In 2015 District Attorney Ryan’s Office’s donation of forfeited cell phones provided the Transition House in Cambridge with $794 in calling cards for victims living in the shelter.

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