MADISON, WI — As part of its ongoing commitment to domestic violence awareness and prevention, Verizon Wireless has donated funds to the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation (WWHF) for a public education campaign aimed at increasing awareness of domestic abuse and letting people know how to find help.
The WWHF created the campaign in partnership with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The campaign features a movie trailer public service announcement (PSA), a television PSA and a poster that focuses on educating the public about domestic abuse, including the warning signs and how to get help. One of the key messages in the campaign is that domestic abuse is not just physical. It can be verbal or psychological, which can be just as devastating.
"Domestic abuse hurts individuals, families and communities," said Sue Ann Thompson, founder and president of the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation. "We want to get the message out that domestic abuse is not normal and it is not acceptable."
Entitled "Freedom," the PSA is a powerful medium in that it utilizes the same features as typical movie trailers and television previews. A strong mail voice-over creates the illusion of suspense. Short, quick cuts interwoven with dramatic sound effects create a sense of action one would see in most previews. Not until the middle of the PSA will most viewers realize that it is not a preview of a movie or TV show, but real life domestic violence circumstances. The PSA concludes with an empowering and uplifting message that "everyone has the right to be free from domestic abuse." Individuals who want to get help are encouraged to call a 24-hour national domestic abuse hotline number.
Marcus Theatres has donated screen time to run the movie trailer for three months starting in late November. Over two million people will be exposed to the trailer's message on about 300 screens throughout Wisconsin.
The television PSA is expected to start airing in early 2002.
"Verizon Wireless applauds Sue Ann Thompson, the foundation and the others for their efforts to help raise awareness about domestic violence," said David Clevenger, executive director, Public Affairs, Verizon Wireless. "We are grateful for the opportunity to help them with this campaign. Our hope is that it will serve to encourage people - both victims and those who know victims - to talk about the issue and bring about positive change." The public awareness campaign is also funded in part by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Attorney General's Office.
Former First Lady Sue Ann Thompson established the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation in 1998. The mission of the foundation is to reach Wisconsin women with the information, opportunity and support they need to be healthy, encourage women to become advocates for their own health and improve the overall quality of life for women and their families.
The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a statewide membership organization of domestic abuse programs, formerly battered women and other individuals who have joined together to speak with one voice against domestic violence. The mission of the coalition is to eliminate domestic violence by changing societal attitudes, practices and policies about women through education, advocacy and social action.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular and GTE Wireless. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.