"Monsters," a provocative new video, portrays the alarming impact of domestic violence on families and children, as seen through the eyes of a young girl. Produced and funded by the Verizon Foundation and supported by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the video encourages the public to get involved in domestic violence prevention and education efforts, and also emphasizes that help for victims and their families is just a phone call away: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
Verizon Wireless customers can quickly reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline by dialing #HOPE. The hotline offers confidential help 24/7. To help support the hotline's efforts, Verizon Wireless, through HopeLine, has donated $75,000. HopeLine collects no-longer-used wireless phones and recycles or refurbishes them to support domestic violence victims and survivors.
The video, two minutes and 34 seconds long, graphically describes how domestic violence affects children. The child's voice states:
"A child who lives with domestic violence lives in darkness. ... She struggles to separate her nightmares from reality because there's very little difference. The child who lives with domestic violence isn't afraid of the dark. She's afraid of her dad because the monster doesn't live in her closet - it's just down the hall."
Studies suggest that between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence each year. And according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, witnessing violence between parents or caregivers is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. The video notes that girls who witness abuse are more likely to be abused later in life, and boys are twice as likely to abuse their own partners - "because that's the world they know."
Rose Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation, said: "To end this devastating cycle of violence, we must motivate silent bystanders to take action. People need to understand that when they look the other way, they condone this deplorable behavior. Verizon is committed to preventing domestic violence by educating our employees, customers and the public about the importance of stepping in to help someone in need. We believe that this provocative video will help us accomplish this life-saving goal."
According to some studies, less that 1 percent of domestic violence cases are reported to the police.
Dyanne Purcell, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, said: "It takes an incredible amount of courage to come forward and ask for help. The more established domestic violence is in our national dialogue, the more likely victims will be able to seek help and make a lasting change."
The video concludes with the child narrator making a poignant plea for the public to help:
"Maybe you don't wake up every day shaking, or jump every time the phone rings. But maybe you should look a little harder. Maybe it's a friend, a co-worker, or your neighbor. ...Your help could make all the difference. We need everyone to bring domestic violence into the light."
Kirk said, "Please share the link to the "Monsters" video with your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. It's a simple action that may have a huge impact."
The "Monsters" video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=367JvtoTm34.
About the National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline was established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress and is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization providing crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies and the general public. http://www.thehotline.org
About Verizon Foundation
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. Verizon has invested more than $28 million in domestic violence prevention. 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 consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections 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, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.