In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 12 nonprofit organizations across New Jersey have received $150,000 in grants from the Verizon Foundation to support technology-based programs that raise awareness of domestic violence and provide support to survivors.
Verizon officials awarded the grants Tuesday (Oct. 26) during an event at the John J. Heldrich Center at Rutgers University that also included a special screening of "Telling Amy's Story," a powerful documentary on domestic violence that has been airing on PBS stations throughout the country. Among those in attendance were New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Viktoria Kristiansson and Detective Deirdri Fishel of the State College, Pa., Police Department, who spoke about her experiences in responding to domestic violence cases and who appears in the documentary.
"Domestic violence is a widespread problem that extends beyond the relationship between two people and is a known contributor to child abuse and workplace violence," said Dennis M. Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. "These Verizon Foundation grants will shine the spotlight on this issue and provide these agencies additional resources to help survivors and their families recover."
New Jersey Attorney General Paula T. Dow said: "Safe streets are important, but they're of little comfort to someone who lives in a state of constant fear and victimization at home. We need all of the resources we can muster to address this very serious problem. We need to increase understanding about domestic violence and those who commit it. And we need to help people everywhere understand that, ultimately, domestic violence affects us all."
The agencies receiving grants participated in a competitive grant-award process earlier this year, submitting proposals that outlined how they could effectively reach the communities they serve by using technology to raise awareness of domestic violence issues and aid in prevention efforts.
The following organizations have received grants:
- Center for Family Services Inc., Camden, for a teen dating violence awareness video.
- Essex County College, Newark, for a domestic abuse prevention and assistance program.
- Essex County Family Justice Center Inc., Newark, for a program to use technology to improve the lives of domestic violence survivors and children.
- Family Service Bureau of Newark, for a victim intervention program.
- Jersey Battered Women's Service Inc., Morristown, for a webcam counseling service.
- New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, Trenton, for a program to enhance services to the deaf community.
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Foundation, Newark, for the AREAS (Attitude, Review, Education and Support) program.
- Resource Center of Somerset Inc., Hillsborough, for domestic violence prevention programming.
- Sierra House Inc., East Orange, for the Sierra House Second Chance.
- Wafa House, Paterson, for a "Building Your Confidence with Managing Money" course.
- YMCA of Burlington County, Mt. Laurel, for its Women's Opportunity Center Project Hope.
- YWCA - Eastern Union County, Elizabeth, for "Project Protect: Empowering Women for Life."
"Telling Amy's Story," created by Penn State Public Broadcasting and funded by the Verizon Foundation, chronicles the time leading up to the death of Amy Homan McGee, a mother of two who was shot and killed by her husband. Mariska Hargitay of NBC-TV's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, introduces the documentary.
Verizon has a long-standing commitment to raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention. Since 2007, the Verizon Foundation has awarded more than $15 million grants to nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence.
Verizon also supports survivors through its HopeLine phone recycling program. Since 2001, HopeLine from Verizon has collected more than 7 million phones, given out more than $7.9 million in grants to nonprofit organizations supporting domestic violence prevention, and distributed more than 90,000 phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service for use by domestic violence survivors.
For more information about HopeLine from Verizon, go to www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 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 $26.1 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 5 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, serving more than 93 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 195,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.