2018 iPledge® Campaign: Students for Safer Relationships
O. 267-295-5900; C. 267-240-4960
O. 215-790-4358; C. 856-392-1512
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2018
PHILADELPHIA – Women Against Abuse, Inc. – Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence service provider and advocate – and Verizon will launch Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Philadelphia with the 2018 iPledge Campaign press conference and resource fair on Wednesday, October 3rd at noon in the Philadelphia City Hall courtyard.
The 2018 Campaign – “Students for Safer Relationships” – will illuminate the prevalence of teen dating violence and honor local schools who are leading the way in preparing their students to pursue healthy relationships. Specifically, Women Against Abuse will be honoring Sara Schwartz, Director of Social Services at CB Community School, and Stephanie A. Contreras, Resilience Specialist at El Centro de Estudiantes.
Mayor Jim Kenney will be the 2018 Keynote Speaker; and the event will also highlight the story of a young man whose childhood experiences with domestic violence have shaped his views on relationships as a college student.
Dr. Argie Allen Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of the Therapy Practice Center, F.A.I.T.H, Inc. and Connections Matter, LLC, and Director of Clinical Training at Drexel University’s Counseling & Family Therapy Department will be the Master of Ceremonies.
The iPledge Campaign launch will include a resource fair featuring local domestic violence service providers as well as Women Against Abuse’s community partners. And, Women Against Abuse will unveil t-shirts designed by young people from its SAFER (Safety Awareness For Every Relationship) teen dating violence prevention program.
“One in three teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, and yet more than half of college students say they don’t know how to identify dating abuse, and don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it,” said Jeannine L. Lisitski, Executive Director & President of Women Against Abuse. “If we are going to prevent domestic violence, we’ve got to start by empowering young people to break intergenerational cycles of abuse. The 2018 iPledge Campaign will shed light on this crucial issue, and activate the Philadelphia community in building much needed awareness and education.”
Verizon is the founding sponsor of the iPledge Campaign. In 2017, Verizon gave $7.6 million in cash grants to nonprofits that support domestic violence prevention including several in the Philadelphia Tri-State Region.
“As a community, we must stand together and raise domestic violence awareness and offer our support to those who have endured it,” said Kevin Zavaglia, President of Verizon’s North East Market “Verizon is a longstanding partner of Women Against Abuse and is honored to be a part of this important campaign. We encourage everyone to take a stand against domestic violence and support iPledge and its tireless efforts.”
The event will conclude with a community pledge against teen dating violence, developed by students from Women Against Abuse’s SAFER program. Attendees can also take the pledge digitally via Verizon tablets on-site or by visiting www.iPledgeWAA.org. An iPledge Toolkit filled with resources for getting involved in the effort to end domestic violence is available via a free download at www.iPledgeWAA.org.
Additionally, the public is invited to take the #iPledgeBecause Challenge, which encourages community members to post a “selfie” to Facebook and Twitter with their motivation for taking Women Against Abuse’s pledge against violence (found at www.iPledgeWAA.org), using the hashtag #iPledgeBecause, and then to challenge their friends and family to follow suit. The iPledge Challenge has garnered more than 1.7 million impressions or timeline deliveries on Twitter since it began in 2014, and has served as a powerful local rally cry for the national conversation around domestic violence.
Women Against Abuse website: www.womenagainstabuse.org
iPledge webpage: www.iPledgeWAA.org
Women Against Abuse Twitter Handle: @WomenAgnstAbuse
Event Hash Tag: #iPledgeBecause
*We will be livestreaming the press conference.
About Women Against Abuse
Women Against Abuse, Inc., one of the largest domestic violence service providers in the country, serves nearly 14,000 individuals in Philadelphia each year through emergency housing, legal services, hotline counseling, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.womenagainstabuse.org.
About Domestic Violence Awareness Month
For 31 years, domestic violence advocates have gathered in October to remember victims and celebrate survivors of domestic violence. In 1989, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) became officially recognized by Congress. Philadelphia City Council will proclaim October as DVAM in Philadelphia on Thursday, October 4th, during their 10 am session at Philadelphia City Hall. For more information about DVAM, visit www.nrcdv.org/dvam.