HopeLine Scholars Strive to End Violence Against Women and Children

This is the second story in a series highlighting work from the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. The Center was created in 2007, established in part by a $100,000 endowment by HopeLine from Verizon.  

Domestic violence prevention and education comes in all shapes and sizes. From elementary school programs to animal-assisted therapy, being able to understand victims and provide helpful resources is of the utmost importance.

That’s why the Center on Violence Against Women & Children (VAWC) at Rutgers University promotes research, education and community facilitation to eliminate violence against women and children. As a founding supporter of the VAWC, Verizon Wireless offers three HopeLine Scholarships each year to Master of Social Work (MSW) students who are committed to working on issues of violence against women and children.

HopeLine scholars recently presented their research at the annual VAWC colloquium. Scholar Jesica Broadnax presented her research on sexual assault in the military, after completing her MSW field placements working with perpetrators of violence.  

“The one thing I am taking away from my research, my VAWC classes and my internships is how multi-faceted and complicated this issue is,” said Broadnax. “Violence against women affects so many, in different ways and for different reasons. Our efforts to end violence must speak to these multiple impacts.”

Brady Root, another HopeLine scholarship recipient, worked at the Rutgers Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance for two years as an AmeriCorps member, and she is now employed there full-time as the Prevention Education Coordinator.

“Everything that I have studied and learned over the past year in the VAWC program has only furthered my passion to end interpersonal violence,” said Root. “My long term goal is to incorporate animal-assisted therapy into my work with survivors of sexual abuse and trauma. It was extremely exciting for me to research this field in depth and then present my findings to my peers, colleagues, friends and family.”

Rutgers MSW students committed to working on domestic violence-related issues are eligible to apply for the HopeLine Scholarship to support their graduate work. These scholarships are made possible by Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program, which collects no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories from any wireless provider. Through HopeLine, Verizon Wireless has donated thousands of phones and awarded millions of dollars in cash grants to domestic violence prevention organizations across the country.

Caption: (L to R) Brady Root, Jalisa Smith, Kerry Krautwald and Jesica Broadnax with their Verizon Wireless HopeLine Scholarship Awards on May 14.

Caption: Jalisa Smith (center) receiving her HopeLine Scholarship Award from Dr. Sarah McMahon, associate director (left) and Sharon Zucker, program coordinator, both with the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers School of Social Work.