Verizon Foundation Launches New Domestic Violence Awareness Effort Encouraging All Men to Join and Engage in Prevention Efforts

The Verizon Foundation has launched a new domestic violence awareness campaign that seeks to engage and empower men to speak up and be part of the solution to end the violence.

The Your Voice Counts campaign is designed to help men, women and communities to start talking about domestic violence and bring this often silent issue out into the open.

"Silence is a large part of the problem surrounding domestic violence," said Verizon Foundation President Rose Stuckey Kirk. "Your Voice Counts aims to address that problem directly by equipping men and women with readily available online resources they need to talk about domestic violence in their communities, to seek help for victims, and to prevent further acts of violence and abuse. Using our resources to address domestic violence is just one way that Verizon shares its success to help make the world a better place."

Your Voice Counts also includes a series of public service announcements; a get-involved action guide; and a range of resources developed by organizations working in the field to prevent domestic violence including A CALL TO MEN, a national men's violence prevention organization, and the Joyful Heart Foundation, a leading organization focused on healing and empowering survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Your Voice Counts and its resources were created specifically for men, and offer a variety of ways everyone can make a difference in their communities by speaking out against domestic violence.

[PSAs featuring James Brown Are available on Verizon's YouTube channel and the Verizon Foundation website.]

Ted Bunch, co-founder of A CALL TO MEN, said, "We encourage and invite men to become the solution to preventing domestic violence by raising their voices and awareness through Your Voice Counts.  Together, we can all create a better world for our daughters, our sons, our sisters, our mothers and ultimately ourselves."

Domestic violence is one of the most critical public health issues for women, resulting in serious, long-term health impacts and devastating effects on children and families.  According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 7 men in the U.S. have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetimes.

Maile Zambuto, CEO of the Joyful Heart Foundation, said: "Despite the pervasiveness of domestic violence, it remains a widely hidden issue in our society. And although women and children represent the majority of victims of domestic violence, it isn't just a women's issue. Men are affected as well - as victims, as perpetrators and as witnesses and bystanders. Engaging men is an important part of the movement to address, prevent and - one day - end domestic violence."

In the Your Voice Counts public service announcements, sportscaster James Brown speaks with both male and female survivors of domestic violence who share their compelling testimonies, emphasize the important role that men play in preventing domestic violence, and encourage viewers to start conversations about this critical issue.  The PSAs are available on Verizon's YouTube channel and the Verizon Foundation website.

Brown said, "Domestic violence is an epidemic in all of our communities that deepened my personal commitment and desire to help end domestic violence.  It's my hope that millions of men join me in this campaign."

The Your Voice Counts action guide contains concrete steps for how users can help prevent domestic violence and intervene if it is suspected.  The guide's tools include a list of five ways men can speak up about domestic violence; examples of how to start conversations with others including friends, co-workers, children, survivors, coaches and students; and facts and statistics about the issue, including who is impacted and in what ways.

The online action guide also makes it easy for users to share suggested messages and information via email, Facebook and Twitter. Your Voice Counts can be accessed online and on mobile devices at www.verizonfoundation.org/yourvoicecounts.

The Verizon Foundation, A CALL TO MEN and the Joyful Heart Foundation support NO MORE, a new overarching symbol, like the pink breast cancer ribbon and the yellow "support our troops" ribbon, that is bringing together all people, organizations and communities that support ending domestic violence and sexual assault in our society. For more information on NO MORE, to get involved or to get the symbol, visit www.nomore.org.

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 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit www.verizonfoundation.org; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).

A CALL TO MEN works to create a world where all men and boys are loving and respectful and all women and girls are valued and safe. A CALL TO MEN (ACTMen) works nationally and internationally to galvanize a movement of men committed to ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. ACTMen partners with the Verizon Foundation and the NFL Players Association on the Training Camps for Life initiative, teaching teens about healthy and respectful relationships. ACTMen is a founding partner of the Engaging Men Campaign and is contributing to the development and launch of the campaign, outreach efforts and educational resources. For more information about ACTMen visit www.acalltomen.org.

About the Joyful Heart Foundation
Actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay founded the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the intention of helping survivors heal and reclaim their lives. Today, Joyful Heart's mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. Joyful Heart's vision is a community that is empowered with knowledge, courage and compassion to help survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse heal mind, body and spirit; values and dedicates resources to individuals and families that have been affected by these issues; and seeks to ignite and foster an open dialogue about how to collaboratively end the cycle of violence and abuse. For more information about the Joyful Heart Foundation, please visit www.joyfulheartfoundation.org.

About James Brown
James Brown serves as host for the CBS Television Network's NFL pre-game show, THE NFL TODAY, along with analysts Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher.  THE NFL TODAY will host Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans this February. Brown also hosts INSIDE THE NFL alongside analysts Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth. Earlier this year, he was named Special Correspondent for CBS News contributing to 60 MINUTES, CBS THIS MORNING and CBS EVENING NEWS. Three-time Emmy award winner for Outstanding Studio Host for THE NFL TODAY and FOX NFL SUNDAY, in 2010, JB was named "Best Studio Host of the Decade" by Sports Illustrated.com.  Brown's first book, Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family and Significant Living, relayed how he found the role he was meant to play, highlighting both the good and bad decisions he made along the way, teaching readers how to discover life's purpose for themselves. He is a co-founder and principal of the Brown Technology Group, a certified minority owned and operated information technology company, and is a founding partner of the Washington Nationals.  Brown serves as AARP's Community Ambassador. No stranger to charitable efforts, JB hosted the P.U.L.S.E. Awards, featuring "The JB Awards" where NFL players are honored for their outstanding community service, benefiting Special Olympics DC and partners with Michael Wilbon for an annual celebrity golf tournament benefiting DC College Access Program, providing counseling and financial assistance to students to attend and graduate college. He is a cause-related marketing advocate on issues including domestic violence prevention with the Verizon Foundation. He resides in the Washington D.C., Metropolitan area with his wife, Dorothy.  JB's daughter Katrina and her husband, John, have three daughters. 

About Verizon
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.