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Mayor backs new black cab domestic violence campaign

1 March 2005.​

One in four women in the capital are affected by domestic violence and Ken Livingstone is lending his support to the joint initiative between The Body Shop and Transport for London, which encourages people to donate their unwanted mobile phones to support The Body Shop's campaign 'Donate a Phone, Save a Life'. From today London's black cabs will hand out receipts with the campaign details and a 24 hour helpline on them. A black cab is also being wrapped in the campaign's branding.

The 'Donate a Phone, Save a Life' campaign, in partnership with national domestic violence charity Women's Aid, is calling on people to donate their old or unwanted mobile phones so they can either be transformed into mobile personal alarms with direct dial to 999 at the touch of any button or recycled to raise funds for the campaign for women at risk of domestic violence. 'Donate a Phone, Save a Life' has its roots in south London where the first personal alarm scheme rolled out. Now a further five schemes across the UK are being set up in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Norfolk and Bristol, thanks to funds raised by The Body Shop's campaign.

Latest research from The Body Shop reveals that a third of Londoners admit they've either done nothing with their old handsets or thrown them away - a figure equating to around five million unwanted mobile phones.

The Mayor said: 'I strongly urge people to back this excellent campaign to help vulnerable women by searching out and donating their old mobile phones. Using the capital's black cab network in this domestic violence campaign will ensure millions of people will be made aware of this important issue.
'Domestic violence is the violent crime women are most likely to experience in London. I am working with public, private and voluntary sectors to tackle this issue, which affects thousands of women and children in the capital every day.'
Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop added: 'Your unfashionable old 'brick' could save a woman's life and at the end of the day you can?t put a price on that. The special campaign can reach over 3,000,000 Londoners and tourists that will not only provide a much-needed lifeline for vulnerable women, but empower everyone to take action and help stop violence in the home.'
Nicola Harwin CBE, Director of Women's Aid added: 'Millions of women live with the fear of violence every day and as many as two women a week will be killed by their abuser. We know that women are most at risk of further abuse after they leave their partners and that having a personal alarm with a direct route to the police could help save their lives.'

Joseph Brown, a London cabbie whose own cab is being wrapped for the campaign, said: 'I think this is a simple but really smart way to raise awareness and money for a scheme that's going to make a big difference to women at risk. I'm happy to be able to do my bit to spread the word.'

Since September, The Body Shop and Women's Aid 'Donate A Phone, Save A Life' campaign has already raised over £130,000, with well over 30,000 phones being donated through The Body Shop stores in the UK. Freepost envelopes to donate the handsets are available to pick up at over 300 stores of The Body Shop across the UK.

Further details of this campaign are available on the Women's Aid website.

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