Verizon Foundation and A CALL TO MEN Engage Men in Prevention of Domestic Violence

More than 120 community advocates from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will meet in Holyoke Monday and Tuesday (April 11, 12)  to expand a movement of men committed to ending violence against women.

The group will gather at Holyoke Community College at a workshop funded by the Verizon Foundation and hosted by A CALL TO MEN, a leading national men's organization addressing men's violence against women.

The workshop, the A CALL TO MEN Training Institute, will provide advanced training to men and women working in domestic and sexual violence prevention programs.  Collaborating partners also include Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Men of Color Health Alliance, MotherWomen, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Travis Best Foundation, VoiceMale Magazine and Womanshelter/Companeras.

"A CALL TO MEN workshops challenge men to reconsider their long-held beliefs about women, in an effort to create a more just society," said Ted Bunch, co-founder of A CALL TO MEN. "We achieve this by encouraging change in the behaviors of men through a re-education and training process that promotes healthy manhood. 

"We believe that preventing domestic and sexual violence is primarily the responsibility of men," Bunch added. "To do that, well-meaning men, who for the most part don't see themselves as part of the problem, need to get involved."

A CALL TO MEN collaborates with colleges, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit and grassroots organizations across the U.S. in organizing communities to raise awareness and engage men in domestic and sexual violence prevention.

"Domestic violence is a complex issue that has affected nearly one in four women - and over 3 million children - and can tear families apart," said Christine Berberich, regional president for Verizon Wireless New England. "This training will shed light on the harmful effects of domestic violence in our communities, and go a long way to help eliminate violence against women and girls.  Verizon is proud to partner with A CALL TO MEN and the other participating organizations to engage more men in this movement."

Carmen Nieves, community educator for Womanshelter/Companeras, the Holyoke-based agency that assists, supports and empowers those who are affected by abuse, said,  "We are honored to be partnering with Verizon and A CALL TO MEN to educate more people about how violence against women negatively affects our entire society.  The institute will have a positive impact on our community for a long time."

Verizon has a long-standing commitment to raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention. Since 2007, the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, has awarded more than $21 million in grants to nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence. 

Through Verizon's HopeLine® program, more than 8 million phones have been collected and recycled or refurbished to support domestic violence survivors, generating $10 million that has been given to local agencies since 2001. For more information about HopeLine from Verizon, go to www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

The Verizon Foundation uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the Verizon 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 94.1 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 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.