Philadelphia’s Love Park was filled with a sea of purple as Philadelphia residents, politicians and advocates gathered to take the pledge to help end domestic violence.
Verizon’s Journey of Hope Tour pulled into the park for the 5th Annual iPledge Kickoff hosted by Women Against Abuse. At the event, more than 250 people gathered to show their support for the work that Women Against Abuse and the City of Philadelphia is doing to help end domestic violence.
With the parks’ fountain – which was turned purple for the event – as a backdrop, State Senator LeAnna Washington and Renee Norris-Jones, a survivor and local advocate, shared their emotional stories of abuse and hope. Tim Smith of Verizon and Azucena Ugarte from Women Against Abuse also announced a new program that will provide dating abuse interventions in Philadelphia middle and high schools. Attendees shared their support for local families by donating stuffed animals to Women Against Abuse for children in need, as well as old cell phones for HopeLine.
iPledge marked the third stop for the Journey of Hope as it makes its way across the country, generating buzz amongst local advocates and assembling inspirational messages for its Wall of Hope.
There was a general feeling of enthusiasm at the event, as discussions on how to protect victims ensued amongst state politicians and law enforcement. As one attendee noted, "I can't tell you how much it means to me that this event is happening. It warms my heart that people are even trying."