Women Against Abuse celebrates 30th Anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month with iPledge
Honors Mayor Jim Kenney for his leadership and commitment to ending relational violence
Katie Young-Wildes, Women Against Abuse
O. 267-295-5900; C. 267-240-4960; KYWildes@womenagainstabuse.org
Kaitlyn Tivenan, Tierney
O. 215-790-4336; C. 610-618-0542; firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2017: Women Against Abuse, Inc. – Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence service provider and advocate – and Verizon Wireless will launch the 30th Anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Philadelphia with the 10th Annual iPledge Campaign press conference on Wednesday, October 4th at noon on the north side of Philadelphia City Hall.
Women Against Abuse will be honoring Mayor Jim Kenney, Brian Abernathy, First Deputy Managing Director, and Eva Gladstein, Deputy Managing Director for Health and Human Services, for their leadership and commitment to Shared Safety: Philadelphia’s revolutionary response to relational violence.
Nearly 80 local stakeholder organizations are participating in Shared Safety, a collective impact model that is transforming Philadelphia’s approach to domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and reproductive coercion. As part of their implementation of a 5-year citywide strategic plan, Shared Safety members have created a universal screening tool for health and human service practitioners; are researching alternative emergency housing models for victims; and are building critically needed bridges among the many stakeholder organizations, so that people experiencing relational violence can encounter a seamless arc of trauma-informed care. No other major U.S. city has a plan at the scale and depth that shared Safety advances, and Philadelphia hopes to become a national model for other municipalities.
“This October marks the 30th Anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for remembering victims, celebrating survivors, and mobilizing community members in the effort to end this public health epidemic,” said Jeannine L. Lisitski, Executive Director & President of Women Against Abuse. “One in 3 women, 1 in 4 men, and up to 50% of individuals who are transgender are abused by an intimate partner. Through the iPledge Campaign we will stand together to call for change and to commit to being part of that change– the kind of change that is occurring through Shared Safety. We are tremendously grateful to Mayor Kenny and his cabinet for their commitment to this life-saving work. There is now a recognition that we cannot solve some of the most entrenched social issues without addressing family violence comprehensively.”
“Our city can only be safe when the homes and the families inside them are safe,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Shared Safety provides a roadmap for a Philadelphia that can be free from the incredibly damaging effects of domestic violence, and I am pleased to support this effort. Health and human service systems are working together like never before to create a new way – an approach other municipalities are sure to replicate.”
In addition to Mayor Kenney, press conference speakers will include Commissioner David Jones of the Dept. of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, which co-leads Shared Safety along with Women Against Abuse; and a survivor of domestic violence, whose story underscores the need for Shared Safety. Bill Henley, meteorologist for NBC10’s First Alert weather team, will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Verizon Wireless is the founding sponsor of the iPledge Campaign. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 12.7 million phones and in 2016, the HopeLine program collected over 550,000 mobile phones to help domestic violence victims. Additionally, $8 million dollars in cash grants have been provided to domestic violence organizations in 2016.
“We, as a community, must stand together to raise awareness of domestic violence and to help prevent it. I am inspired by the tireless efforts these organizations put forth every single day and Verizon Wireless is honored to be a part of this event and this important campaign,” said Kevin Zavaglia, President of Verizon’s North East Market. “We encourage Philadelphians to live the motto of the City of Brotherly Love and take a stand against domestic violence and support those who have endured it.”
The event will conclude with a community pledge against domestic violence led by local and state lawmakers. 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 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 Domestic Violence Awareness Month
For 30 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 5th, during their 10 am session at Philadelphia City Hall. For more information about DVAM, visit www.nrcdv.org/dvam.