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Nonprofits In The District Of Columbia Combat Domestic Violence Against Youth And Adults, With Funding From The Verizon Foundation

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to raise awareness about domestic violence, Verizon was joined Wednesday ( Nov. 7) by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton to honor several nonprofits in the District of Columbia that are working to combat abuse against youth and adults.  The Verizon Foundation is awarding grants to these nonprofits to aid in their efforts.

Domestic violence and emotional abuse affect people who are married, unmarried, heterosexual, gay or lesbian, living together, separated or dating.  The violence takes many forms and can happen constantly or once in a while.

"The best way to prevent domestic violence is to bring it out of the shadows and hold abusers accountable for their actions," said Norton.  "This tragedy often spreads from generation to generation, but we must work together to end the cycle of violence among all segments of the community.

"I am proud to stand with Verizon to honor these organizations that continue to work hard every day to eradicate this tragedy," Norton added.

During Wednesday's recognition ceremony, Verizon announced $65,000 in foundation grants to the following recipients:

  • AYUDA, to support Project Help, which educates and empowers domestic violence survivors so they can end abusive situations and transition to safety and independence.  AYUDA, which uses coordinated legal and social services to help victims avoid returning to their abuser, provides needed information on available protections and services to immigrant victims of domestic violence.
  • Dance Institute of Washington (DIW), to implement a domestic violence prevention and education program for at-risk youth ages 14-18.  DIW will engage teens in workshops and seminars to learn about domestic violence prevention and help them recognize and respond to domestic and dating violence, access available resources and build strategies for addressing abusive situations at home, among peers and in the community.
  • District Alliance for Safe Housing Inc., for its Holistic Healing Program, which provides counseling and support services to help survivors recover from abuse and establish safe, stable homes for themselves and their families.  Survivors participate in workshops and support groups on trauma recovery, addiction and parenting support, and they receive mental health services, including one-on-one therapy offered weekly or as needed.
  • Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, to support its domestic violence prevention work and provide education, abuse screening, case management, individual and group counseling, referral to health services and support services to domestic violence victims in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.  The program, which will serve more than 2,000 residents, will help survivors increase their understanding of healthy relationships, know how to identify when one is in danger, assess the impact of domestic violence on children and their families, and learn how to access resources.
  • Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), for its Women Leadership Institute, which will help young women to assert and protect themselves when confronted with domestic violence, and have the confidence and understanding to help others faced with similar circumstances.  This program enables participants to help empower their peers to prevent domestic and dating violence, thereby developing self-esteem, knowledge and a network of peer support.  Young women learn to implement strategies to prevent domestic violence in their communities.  Each year, SMYAL provides structured after-school programming to more than 350 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Karen I. Campbell, Verizon's vice president of state government affairs, said: "Domestic violence is a serious but preventable crime that affects millions of Americans in every segment of society.  While the problem is universal, the solutions are not.  Domestic violence victims face many challenges.  We're proud to use our resources and funding to help break this vicious cycle and make a meaningful impact on these victims' lives."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.  This is more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. 

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