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9th Annual iPledge Campaign Launches Domestic Violence Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 23, 2016

media contacts

Katie Young-Wildes, Vice President of Advancement, Women Against Abuse

O. 267-295-5900; C. 267-240-4960 KYWildes@womenagainstabuse.org

Kaitlyn Tivenan: O. 215-790-4336; C. 610-618-0542 ktivenan@tierneyagency.com

PHILADELPHIA – Women Against Abuse, Inc. – Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence service provider and advocate – Verizon Wireless, Health Partners Plans and Wawa will launch Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Philadelphia with the 9th Annual iPledge Campaign press conference on September 30 at noon at Thomas Paine Plaza. The theme of this year’s iPledge event will focus on the intersection of domestic violence and child abuse, because there are no safe children without safe families.   

Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney will deliver opening remarks at the event, and NBC10 reporter, Harry Hairston, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Women Against Abuse will honor Dr. Sam P. Gulino, Chief Medical Examiner and Chair of the Act 33 Child Fatality Review Team, with the Patricia Fox Trailblazer Award in recognition of his leadership on behalf of child victims of abuse and domestic violence. A survivor of child abuse and domestic violence will also share her story as a powerful reminder of the impact family violence has on our community and the importance of our work.

“All too often, we see children killed in the context of domestic violence,” said Jeannine L. Lisitski, Executive Director & President of Women Against Abuse. “And all too often, domestic violence goes unnoticed until it’s too late; until a precious young life is lost and the shockwaves alter our community forever. Women Against Abuse is working with city systems and community partners to prevent these tragedies and ensure the safety of children and families in Philadelphia.”

Verizon Wireless – the founding sponsor of the iPledge Campaign – will share information about its HopeLine program at the event. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 12 million phones and in 2015, the HopeLine program collected over 700,000 mobile phones to help domestic violence victims. Additionally, $7 million dollars in cash grants have been provided to domestic violence organizations in 2015.  

“Domestic violence is an issue we cannot ignore,” said Kevin Zavaglia, President of Verizon’s North East Market. “We must work together to continue to raise awareness about this silent epidemic and help prevent it. I am proud of Verizon’s long-standing history of supporting this cause and partnering with organizations like Women Against Abuse to change our world for the better.  I am inspired by the tireless efforts these organizations put forth to assist those affected by domestic violence every single day.”

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. 

The event will conclude with a community pledge against domestic violence. 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. 

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About Women Against Abuse

Women Against Abuse, Inc., one of the largest domestic violence service providers in the country, serves approximately15,000 individuals in Philadelphia each year through emergency housing, legal services, hotline counseling, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.womenagainstabuse.org

About the HopeLine from Verizon Program

The HopeLine from Verizon Program collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries and accessories for victims of domestic violence. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 12 million phones and in 2015, the HopeLine program collected over 700,000 mobile phones to help domestic violence victims. Additionally, $7 million dollars in cash grants have been provided to domestic violence organizations in 2015.  For more information, visit http://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/hopeline.

About Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Starting in 1981, domestic violence advocates gathered to remember victims and celebrate survivors of domestic violence. In 1989, Domestic Violence Awareness Month became officially recognized by Congress. For more information, visit www.nrcdv.org/dvam.

About Health Partners Plans

Nationally recognized for its innovations in managed care, Health Partners Plans is a not-for-profit managed healthcare organization serving nearly 270,000 members in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides a broad range of health coverage options through Health Partners Medicare, Health Partners for Medicaid recipients and its KidzPartners (Children's Health Insurance Program) plans. Founded more than 30 years ago, Health Partners Plans is one of the few hospital-owned health plans in the country. Learn more about how Health Partners Plans is doing it right at HealthPartnersPlans.comtwitter.com/HPPlans and facebook.com/healthpartnersplans.

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