Verizon Joins With American GI Forum to Address Domestic Violence in Families of Returning Veterans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The American GI Forum will use a $75,000 Verizon grant to teach ways in which returning veterans and their families in six California communities can avoid becoming victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

The grant, announced Tuesday (Dec. 2) at a news conference at the state Capitol, establishes the Preventing Domestic Violence for Veterans and Families Program, which will serve families in San Diego, Oceanside, Victorville, San Bernardino, Santa Maria and Lompoc. 

"It is critical that we provide military families the tools they need to effectively address the issue of domestic violence," said Willie Galvan, state commander of the American GI Forum. "Our partnership with Verizon will allow us to develop a program that empowers families to lead healthy lives."

The grant will create a course that will promote violence-prevention techniques such as anger management and conflict resolution skills and teach participants how to find and utilize resources, should they need them.

"In California, we need to be more proactive in providing comprehensive services to our veterans so that we can reintegrate soldiers into normal society," said Assemblywoman Mary Salas, chair of the Assembly Committee on Veteran Affairs. "The collaboration between Verizon and the American GI Forum demonstrates the strides that can be made when the private sector and public organizations work together."

Raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention is one of Verizon's principal areas of focus.

Verizon West Region President Tim McCallion said, "Domestic violence touches every segment of society; but while the problem is universal, the solutions are not. That is why Verizon is supporting American GI Forum's project to confront the issue of domestic violence."

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.