Friday, October 1, 2010

The ADT AWARE® Program: Protection for Abused Women


Since 1992, ADT Security Services has offered a life-saving program to address the scourge of domestic violence. Through the ADT AWARE® program (Abused Women’s Active Response Emergency), ADT donates the installation and monitoring of electronic security systems and hold-up alarm pendants in the homes of victims who are in imminent danger of attack in domestic violence circumstances.

The ADT AWARE® program is a coordinated effort between ADT Security Services, representatives of local law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's offices and battered women's shelters. After these community groups have established a set of criteria for AWARE® candidates and selected participants for the program, ADT donates and installs the security systems. The systems include a hold-up alarm pendant, which can be worn or carried with the victim while in the home. In the event an attack is imminent, the victim can press the button on the pendant, sending an immediate, silent alarm to ADT, which in turn notifies the appropriate police agency. Law enforcement agencies participating in the AWARE® program have agreed to respond to AWARE® alarms on a priority basis.

ADT donates the equipment, installation and monitoring of the AWARE® systems. There is no charge whatsoever to either the victims or the community. It is up to the agencies (law enforcement, domestic violence shelters and/or the prosecuting attorney) and not ADT to determine who will be admitted into the AWARE program based on a set of criteria. It is recommended the program assist victims who are at the highest level of risk for lethal attack. Other suggested criteria can include that the victim:

1. be in imminent danger of attack,
2. have a restraining order or other order of protection against the abuser, and
3. be willing to prosecute and testify against the batterer in a court of law if he’s apprehended as a result of the use of the ADT security system.

The ADT AWARE® program has received widespread acclaim for helping reduce the incidence of domestic violence, acting as a deterrent to would-be attackers while helping victims of abuse return to a safe and normal life in the one place in which they should feel safe—their homes.

AWARE® Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does AWARE® stand for?
A: The full name of the program is Abused Women's Active Response Emergency. Although it is available to both men and women, the name was chosen to help raise awareness that domestic violence continues to be a severe life safety issue that claims hundreds of lives each year.

Q: Where is the AWARE® program being used?
A: The ADT AWARE® program and DVERS® (Domestic Violence Emergency Response System) in Canada are available in communities from Alaska to Wisconsin and in communities large and small. Victims should be in touch with their local domestic violence shelter or police agency to determine potential participation.

Q: Is this program really effective?
A: ADT AWARE® is credited with helping save the lives of at least 30 women and has helped provide peace of mind to thousands of others in domestic violence situations.

Q: How does a woman get into the program?
A: Victims should contact their local domestic violence shelter or law enforcement agency to determine if AWARE is available in their community.
Professionals in law enforcement, domestic violence shelters or prosecutor’s offices establish a set of criteria to select AWARE program participants. Community agencies usually require that a victim:
(a) Be in imminent danger.
(b) Have a restraining order against the abuser.
(c) Be willing to prosecute and testify against the batterer.

Q: How long can a woman stay in the AWARE® program?
A: As long as the need exists and as long as there is direct communication between the victim and the AWARE partner agency that admitted the victim into the program.

Q: What if the victim has no phone or the phone line is cut?
A: A woman must have a working phone line at home in order to participate in the ADT AWARE® program. An active phone line is important for victims who are in imminent danger of attack in domestic violence cases. The AWARE program is not intended to replace dialing 911, but is for those instances when an attack is imminent and the victim is not able to dial 911

Q: Why is ADT offering this program for free?
A: The ADT AWARE program is our way of giving back to the communities we serve. ADT’s charitable giving is aligned with our business goals of helping provide life safety and security to the communities we serve with a focus on helping protect children and families and victims of domestic violence.

Note: For any community agencies seeking information on establishing AWARE® programs - please contact Ann Lindstrom

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