Ottumwa Crisis Center & Women's Shelter Partners With Verizon to Assist Victims of Domestic Violence in Iowa

The Ottumwa Crisis Center & Women's Shelter is partnering with Verizon to raise awareness of services available to female victims of domestic violence and help at-risk individuals develop skills needed to create healthy relationships.

Funded through a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, the project, announced Monday (Oct. 26), will target residents in rural counties and other underserved communities through advertising, culturally relevant education materials, and social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook.

"The Crisis Center & Women's Shelter is pleased to partner with Verizon, a corporate leader in supporting innovative solutions to end domestic violence," said Cheryl Brown, executive director of the organization. "This new partnership allows us to reach out to individuals isolated in rural counties, create relevant and up-to-date educational materials, and use technology and social media tools to reach youth who may not be aware of our services."

Every year, more than 20,000 Iowans are victims of domestic violence according to the Iowa State Attorney General's Office. Many of those victims have unique challenges -- such as geographic isolation, language and cultural barriers, and socio-economic status -- that make it difficult to provide domestic violence services.

"Verizon is committed to using our resources and the latest technology to address the issues that are critical to the well-being of our communities," said John Flannery, director of government and external affairs for Verizon.  "This project will reach out to our most vulnerable populations and provide violence prevention services to those individuals in need."

Iowa First Lady Mari Culver said: "I commend the Crisis Center & Women's Shelter and Verizon for this increased outreach effort to victims of abuse.  It takes community partnerships like these to eradicate domestic violence."
Verizon supports the survivors of domestic violence through a myriad of programs, including Verizon Wireless' HopeLine® program. Through the program, Verizon Wireless collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition from any wireless service provider.  Proceeds generated from the phones collected by HopeLine are put toward wireless phones and service for survivors of domestic violence as well as financial grants to nonprofit domestic violence advocacy agencies.  Ottumwa and rural Iowa residents can get more information and download a free shipping label by visiting www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
About The Crisis Center & Women's Shelter
The Women's Resource Center & Shelter was formed in 1978 by a group of citizens concerned about the devastating problem of domestic violence in our community. Battering is the single most common form of injury to women. It has an emergency shelter and an outreach program that serves survivors in a five county area. Main offices are located in Ottumwa and the shelter is located in Wapello County.
Over 2,000 victims receive services through our organization annually. A large part of what the Center does is to educate victims and community members about safety issues, the dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault, and the consequences to all of society brought on by violence. Individuals seeking services are provided criminal justice support and advocacy, access to a 24 hour hotline, crisis and follow up advocacy, and community referrals, as well as support groups and educational materials related to domestic violence and sexual assault.
About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.