Internet Safety

Women Against Abuse, Verizon & Health Partners Plans Launch iPledge

Media Contacts

Katie Young-Wildes
Director of Advancement, Women Against Abuse
O. 215-386-1280 x116-or-C. 267-240-4960
KYWildes@womenagainstabuse.org

Sheldon Jones
Verizon Wireless
O. 215-638-5668-or-C. 215-219-8890
Sheldon.Jones@verizonwireless.com

PHILADELPHIA – Women Against Abuse, Inc., Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence awareness and prevention agency, Verizon and Health Partners Plans (HPP) will launch Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Philadelphia on October 3 at noon at LOVE Park with the 7th Annual iPledge Press Conference. NBC10 Meteorologist Bill Henley will emcee the event, and Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison – the keynote speaker – will take the iPledge Challenge, a new component of this year’s iPledge campaign.

Women Against Abuse’s iPledge Challenge encourages community members to post a “selfie” to Facebook and/or 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 hundreds of pledges since it began in September, and has served as a powerful local rally cry for the national conversation around domestic violence. 

The 2014 iPledge Press Conference will focus on domestic violence as a public health epidemic that impacts one in three women across the U.S. Women Against Abuse will honor Dr. Daniel Taylor of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children with the Pat Fox Trailblazer Award in recognition of his service and commitment to the city’s youngest survivors of domestic violence. For seven years, Dr. Taylor and a team of medical professionals from St. Christopher’s have provided wellness visits for boys and girls living in Women Against Abuse’s emergency safe haven. 

“Domestic violence makes a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of children who witness attacks in their homes,” said Women Against Abuse Executive Director Jeannine L. Lisitski. “The iPledge Challenge is a way for the community to raise its voice as part of the solution to end this public health epidemic; to bring it out in the open, and say ‘we can do better for the next generation.’ We can end this!”

Verizon – the founding sponsor of the iPledge Campaign – will be collecting used cell phones through its HopeLine program, which refurbishes the devices for survivors of domestic violence. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 10 million phones, distributed more than 151,000 phones and properly disposed of 2.1 million no-longer-used wireless phones in the U.S. In 2013 alone, the HopeLine program contributed $420,000 in cash grants to victims of domestic violence and local agencies in the Philadelphia Tri-State Region.

“We, as a community, must band together and be champions of domestic violence awareness and prevention. Verizon is a longstanding partner of Women Against Abuse and many other domestic violence victim service organizations across the country, and we are proud to support the iPledge campaign again,” said Rob Miller, Verizon Wireless, President, Philadelphia Tri-State Region. “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.”

“Although we’re a first time sponsor of the iPledge initiative, HPP has long been committed to the fight against domestic violence in the communities we serve,” said William S. George, president and CEO.  “As a health plan we recognize that it’s not just a social and domestic issue, it greatly impacts the health care industry.  With awareness and education we can make great strides in eliminating this unfortunate reality.”

The iPledge press conference will also feature the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, who will perform songs to inspire dialogue around violence against women.

The conference will conclude with a community pledge against domestic violence, led by State Senator Vincent Hughes. Attendees can also take the pledge digitally via Verizon Wireless tablets on-site or by visiting http://bit.ly/ipledgebecauseWAA.

Community members are urged to take the iPledge Challenge online at www.womenagainstabuse.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 nearly 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 more than 7 million phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by domestic abuse survivors. Verizon has also awarded more than $7.9 million in 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.

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 2014 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 2, 2014.

About Health Partners Plans

Health Partners Plans is a not-for-profit managed healthcare organization serving more than 187,000 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) plan. Founded nearly 30 years ago, Health Partners Plans is one of the few hospital-owned health insurers in the country. Nationally recognized for its innovations in managed care, it consistently receives the highest ratings for member and provider satisfaction.  And, based on 2014 NCQA rankings, HPP was rated the #1 Medicaid plan in Pennsylvania.  Learn more about how Health Partners Plans is “doing it right” at HealthPartnersPlans.com, twitter.com/HPPlans and facebook.com/healthpartnersplans.

About the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change

The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change is composed of acclaimed Liberian singers, all now resident in Philadelphia, who perform traditional and newly-composed songs to inspire dialogue and action around current pressing community issues, including domestic violence and post-war reconciliation. The Chorus (Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Tokay Tomah, and Zaye Tete, accompanied on drums by Blamoh Doe and Fernon Flomo) is an initiative of the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

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