Alumnae/i Feature

Molly Riportella ’12MS is helping victims of domestic violence

Molly Riportella holding a book amoung shelves of library books
Courtesy Molly Riportella/BiblioUnderground

Molly Riportella ’12MS, a librarian in Westwood, Massachusetts, found a way to discreetly supply resources to people in violent relationships.

Riportella, herself a survivor of domestic abuse, began carving hidden compartments into the pages of discarded books. She filled each hollowed-out book with a burner phone, programmed with numbers and email addresses for local shelters, links to free attorneys, and other social services.

“I include resources for safety planning, pro bono legal action, how to get a restraining order — all the things that I had no idea how to do in my 20s when I was being abused, and I was scared to try to find out,” Riportella told CNN.

In an effort to penetrate the isolation experienced by victims of domestic violence, she’s created BiblioUnderground, a grassroots effort to distribute the hidden phones and connect people with much-needed resources. The burner phones are vital, as perpetrators of violence often use technology to track their victims whereabouts and communications with others.

Riportella is raising funds via GoFundMe to expand the initiative, with the goal of collaborating with other organizations to deliver phone kits directly to those in need.

Read the full article on CNN

Publish Date


Alisa M. Libby