Women Against Abuse and Verizon to Launch 6th Annual iPledge Campaign
Development Director, Women Against Abuse
O. 215-386-1280 x116-or-C. 267-240-4960
O. 215-638-5668-or-C. 215-219-8890
PHILADELPHIA – Women Against Abuse, Inc., Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence agency, and Verizon will kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Philadelphia on October 1 at noon at LOVE Park with its 6th Annual iPledge Press Conference. The press conference launch, featuring keynote speaker Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, will honor Philadelphia City Council with the Pat Fox Trailblazer Award in recognition of its leadership and commitment to increasing emergency shelter resources for survivors of domestic violence.
The iPledge press conference will highlight the efforts of City Council, domestic violence advocates and iPledge supporters in doubling Philadelphia’s emergency shelter capacity for survivors of domestic violence. Operating the only shelter in Philadelphia specifically equipped to meet the safety needs of domestic violence victims, Women Against Abuse has been forced to turn away requests due to lack of space in its 100-bed haven. Last year this figure reached a record high of 8,900 turned away requests. In response to this mounting need, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Supportive Housing awarded Women Against Abuse a $2.5 million contract to launch a second 100-bed safe haven for survivors of domestic violence.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this doubling of emergency safe haven services for survivors of domestic violence at iPledge, where we’ve gathered year after year to generate public awareness and support,” said Women Against Abuse Executive Director Jeannine L. Lisitski. “We will build upon this critical foundation through the iPledge campaign in the coming years by continuing to work with community partners and the public at large. We are working to reach a point when we can confidently say that victims are receiving the life-saving services they need.”
The iPledge press conference will also unveil a partnership between Women Against Abuse and a North Philadelphia high school to curb teen dating violence. More than 40% of abusive incidents in violent teen dating relationships occur on school grounds. With continued funding from the Verizon Foundation, Women Against Abuse educators will expand the organization’s training and prevention strategies so that peers, teachers and staff know how to respond when dating violence occurs on campus.
This year’s iPledge launch will urge the public to engage through simple, impactful steps. Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor Gillison will encourage Philadelphians to donate no-longer used cell phones to the Verizon HopeLine Program, which refurbishes the used devices for survivors of domestic violence. State Senator LeAnna Washington, a domestic violence survivor and advocate, will lead the pledge to stand up to domestic violence in our community. iPledge sponsor, Verizon, will have tablets on-site for attendees to electronically sign their pledge.
“Verizon is dedicated to providing the tools and resources necessary to support domestic violence awareness and prevention. As a part of that mission, we are thrilled to partner with Women Against Abuse for the iPledge campaign again this year and its various programs, services and resources to help those in need,” said Douglas R. Smith, Vice President-State Government Affairs for Verizon Pennsylvania. “This annual iPledge campaign helps to remind Philadelphians that they have a shared community responsibility to stand up to domestic violence. Only by working together can we truly make a change.”
On October 1st, community members are invited to wear purple, the official color of the movement to end domestic violence and to sign the pledge throughout the month of October online atwww.ipledgewaa.org.
About Women Against Abuse
Women Against Abuse, Inc., one of the largest domestic violence programs in the country, serves 15,000 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. The initiative began in 1995, and to date, Verizon Wireless has collected over more than 7 million phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by domestic abuse survivors and awarded more than 7.9 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies across the country. For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline or download the HopeLine app on your mobile device.
The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit http://www.verizonfoundation.org; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).
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. Philadelphia City Council will proclaim October 2013 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 10, 2013.