Maryland Nonprofits Combat Domestic Violence Against Youth and Adults, With $200,000 in Funding From the Verizon Foundation

Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Senator John C. Astle, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Verizon Join in Special Ceremony for Groups as Survivors Share Their Stories, Tell How Nonprofits Change Lives

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – In an effort to raise awareness and end domestic violence, Verizon, along with Maryland Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch, state Sen. John C. Astle and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, joined on Thursday (Dec. 20) to honor several nonprofits that are working to combat abuse against youth and adults in the state.

The Verizon Foundation has awarded $200,000 in grants this year to aid Maryland nonprofits in their efforts.

Domestic violence and emotional abuse affect people who are married, unmarried, heterosexual, gay or lesbian, living together, separated or dating.  The violence takes many forms and can happen constantly or once in a while.

"We must do everything we can to prevent domestic violence and hold abusers accountable for their actions," said Gansler, who has spearheaded tougher domestic violence laws through his role as co-chair of Maryland's Family Violence Council.  "This tragedy often spreads from generation to generation, and we must work together to end the cycle of violence through ongoing coordination and collaboration among all segments of the community."

Busch agreed, adding, "The best way to prevent domestic violence is to bring it out of the shadows and hold abusers accountable for their actions.  I am proud to stand with Verizon to honor these organizations that continue to work hard every day to eradicate this tragedy."

During the recognition ceremony, Verizon announced $200,000 in foundation grants to area nonprofits, including:

  • Anne Arundel Health System, to train 300 health care providers to address, respond to and prevent domestic violence by identifying patients who are being abused, documenting the abuse and making referrals to local service providers.
  • Community Advocates for Family and Youth, to implement a comprehensive domestic violence prevention and education program to include 24-hour support services for victims, mental health and crisis counseling, emergency housing and legal referrals for protective order preparation.
  • Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, to provide more than 100 adult clients and 45 children with weekly, one-hour therapy sessions to assess each individual for symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Family Crisis Resource Center, to implement Project Aspire, which will offer support services and empowerment resources to victims of domestic violence.
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center, to train 200 health care providers to better identify and address suspected or confirmed cases of domestic violence and abuse.
  • Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, for emotional and supportive services to victims of domestic violence and their families and to conduct community outreach and education largely in underserved communities where clients have limited English-speaking skills.  
  • Mercy Medical Center, to implement a domestic violence prevention and safety education program for middle and high school students in Baltimore City and promote safe dating relationships.
  • Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, for mental health services, including crisis counseling for rural and Spanish-speaking victims and their families.
  • Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center, to educate and provide mental health counseling service to domestic violence survivors and their children so they can end abusive situations and transition into safety and independence.
  • Sisters4Sisters, to implement L.O.V.E., a domestic violence education and prevention program that will include self-esteem workshops and healthy dating information for young women and girls ages 9-24.
  • The People's Community Baptist Church, to help with community outreach, awareness and domestic violence prevention through public service announcements, public events, educational materials, monthly workshops, counseling and referrals.
  • University of Maryland Foundation Baltimore County, to launch the Relationship Violence Prevention Program to educate more than 3,000 students about how to recognize, address and prevent relationship violence in the school and in their communities.
  • Women Who Care Ministries, to sustain and expand its domestic violence prevention program in Maryland, including mental health counseling, workshops and health and shelter services.

According to Astle, "Domestic violence destroys families and leaves physical, mental and psychological scars for years beyond the actual trauma.  This must stop.  I commend these organizations and concerned corporate citizens like Verizon for stepping up to help those who need it most."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.  This is more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

Anthony A. Lewis, Verizon's mid-Atlantic region vice president of state government affairs, said: "Domestic violence is a serious but preventable crime that affects millions of Americans in every segment of society.  Domestic violence victims face many challenges.  Verizon has focused resources and funding for a number of years to help break this vicious cycle and make a meaningful impact on these victims' lives."

In addition to Verizon Foundation support, through Verizon Wireless's HopeLine® Phone Recycling Program, the company provides wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence, and cash grants to local shelters and nonprofit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy.

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, health care and energy management.  Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live.  Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 62 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.  For more information, 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 consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.