Verizon Foundation Funds Domestic Violence Prevention Seminar With $10,000 Grant

Victor Rivas Rivers, the actor, author and domestic violence prevention advocate, will be the keynote speaker at a day-long conference Wednesday (June 8) for New Jersey professionals who help victims of domestic violence.

The session, entitled "Domestic Violence: It's Everyone's Issue," is the ninth annual conference hosted by  the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women and the Rutgers University Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. A $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation is supporting the conference, which will be held at Rutgers' Busch Campus.

"Each year, there are thousands of tragic domestic violence cases in New Jersey whose victims are men as well as women," said Donnett Barnett Verley, Verizon New Jersey's director of public policy and corporate responsibility.  "Verizon is proud to co-sponsor this conference that will help prepare dedicated professionals to respond to this epidemic."

Among the topics to be discussed at the conference are: the abuse of people with disabilities; coping with the aftermath of abuse; male-perpetrated domestic violence and homicide; addressing the cultural needs of domestic violence survivors; and the affect of substance abuse and depression on incidents of domestic violence.

The highlight of the conference - organized by Lynda M. Carson, research and communications administrator for the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women - will be Victor Rivas Rivers' keynote address.

Rivers is the national spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence and is a Community Champion for the Verizon Foundation. He is also author of the best-selling memoir "A Private Family Matter," which recounts his personal story of childhood abuse.

A veteran of more than two dozen films, Rivers is best known for such roles as Antonio Banderas' brother in "The Mask of Zorro" and Eddie Murphy's sidekick in "The Distinguished Gentleman." He was also featured in the acclaimed PBS documentary "Breaking the Silence: Journeys of Hope."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: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, with more than 104 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.