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Stalking Victims To Get Cell Phones

To combat domestic violence, women in Florida can soon turn to a new weapon: a cellular phone.

Under a joint effort between police and phone companies, women worried about being stalked or attacked will be able to get a free portable cellular telephone for up to a month, in case of an emergency.

A woman could flee her house with the pocket-size phone and punch 911 - alerting police and also creating a tape of the call that police and prosecutors can use in court.

“By providing immediate access to 911, this program can help save lives,” said Patricia Hinton, chairwoman of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The phones will be programmed to block long-distance or incoming calls, but may allow local calls.

To qualify for a phone, women must have obtained a court order against a husband or companion.

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