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One Mother’s Cry Changes the Lives of Thousands

At the young age of thirty-eight, a woman named Laura passed away from what doctors called “respiratory failure” brought on by years of brutal abuse at the hands of her husband. Laura’s tragic death sparked a movement — led by her mother, Ellen — to start Laura’s House, a domestic violence agency that has helped more than 4,000 women and children receive shelter and support.

“It’s what we call the continuum of care,” said Andrea McCallister, director of development and communications for Laura’s House. “From day one when the client walks into the shelter, case managers are assisting and helping make plans for the survivor’s future and how Laura’s House can make that shift easier.”

Since its founding in 1994, Laura’s House has grown, offering a wide range of supportive services including counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to more than 50,000 in Southern California. As one of four shelters in Orange County, California to receive state funds for its services, Laura’s House also provides a 24-hour hotline and both emergency and long-term housing for victims.

“That’s really our goal. To make sure that they are all given the extra time to heal and be successful in their new healthy life,” said McCallister. But with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in California having experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner, Laura’s House can’t do it alone.

Supporting organizations like Laura’s House is why Verizon created Because Voices Have Power in 2014. This social media campaign encouraged the public to share messages of hope with domestic violence victims. For every #BecauseVoicesHavePower post on a social media site, Verizon Wireless donated $3 to domestic violence prevention agencies across the country and in a little over four weeks, the campaign had raised more than $425,000.  

“Campaigns and corporate involvement are important to bring the issue top of mind so we can empower others that are passionate about what we are doing to help spread the word,” said McCallister.

To learn more about Laura’s House, please visit their website here.