Domestic Violence Service Center - a path to safety and a shelter from abuse

NEWS

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE CENTER CONTINUES ITS OUTREACH TO REDUCE AND PREVENT DATING VIOLENCE AMONG TEENS IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA

WILKES-BARRE (October 16, 2014) - Through a grant from Verizon Foundation, the Domestic Violence Service Center (DVSC) will impact 1,500 teens, seventh through twelfth grades, in Luzerne and Carbon County schools during the 2014/2015 school year, by continuing programming to increase knowledge about dating violence, healthy relationships, and resources and strategies available to reduce and prevent these violent behaviors. The grant award was announced during the Safe Dates and Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kick-Off Event to the eleventh grade class at the Hazleton Area High School. “I would like to thank Verizon for their support and partnership with Domestic Violence Service Center in our domestic violence awareness efforts, teen dating violence prevention, and healthy relationships education. It is because of this support that DVSC can expand their prevention education in Luzerne and Carbon County schools to this level,” said Paula Triano, Executive Director, Domestic Violence Service Center. The event was also attended by Mary Malone, President, Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Cusat, Hazleton City Council Member; and Daniel J. Reavy, Director of External Affairs.

This opportunity is in direct parallel to Domestic Violence Service Center’s strategic plan’s prevention goal - to develop and implement initiatives to engage the general public in elimination of domestic violence to build stronger safer communities through acknowledgement of the need for implementation of primary prevention tools and strategies to eliminate domestic violence; and corresponds with Verizon Foundation’s focus on domestic violence prevention and investment in organizations that provide education, prevention, victim relief, and empowerment resources.

The program is guided by the Safe Dates curriculum and will include pre/post tests to assess the percentage of teens that increase their knowledge about dating violence/healthy relationships and knowledge regarding resources/strategies available. Students will be provided with training materials, certificates of completion, wristbands emblazoned with “NO MORE”, teen dating pledge, and brochures. Posters for schools with crisis hotline tear-off numbers will be available.

In addition, peer mentor projects, implemented in both Luzerne and Carbon Counties, will continue to engage youth as teen leaders/advocates regarding healthy relationships and teen dating violence. The projects will continue to engage interested teens to become involved in a variety of strategies to transform the conditions of their schools. Strategies include peer service learning approaches, participating in the development of school wide policies, legislative advocacy, and designing programs/campaigns.

“Verizon is proud to improve the quality of life for youth and families in Northeastern Pennsylvania by empowering the community with innovative tools and resources,” said Daniel J. Reavy, Director of External Affairs for Verizon Pennsylvania. “We’re investing in programs, such as our partnership with Domestic Violence Service Center, to touch people’s lives by focusing on education, health and family safety in the 21st century. We understand that education does not begin nor end in the classroom. ”

For more than a decade, Verizon, through its various business units and its philanthropic foundation, has been a champion of ending domestic violence. Verizon supports a broad range of programs that include:

• Training healthcare practitioners and first responders about screening for signs of abuse.

• Engaging men as role models and advocates for prevention.

• Educating teens about preventing dating violence.

• Collecting no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories, with proceeds supporting and furthering domestic violence prevention programs. More information is available at www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline

• Allowing all Verizon Wireless customers to easily connect with a domestic violence counselor by dialing #4673 (#HOPE) from their mobile phones.

Domestic Violence Service Center, a United Way Member Agency, has been providing supportive services to victims and survivors of domestic violence in Luzerne and Carbon Counties for over 35 years. The services include: emergency shelter, 24-hour hotlines, counseling, crisis intervention, transitional housing for homeless women and children, community support groups, and education and training.

At the presentation, from left: Scott Dunaj, Government Sales Manager Verizon; Hazleton Councilman, Jeff Cusat; Rocco Petrone, Principal, Hazleton Area High School; Paula M. Triano, Executive Director, Domestic Violence Service Center; Daniel J. Reavy, Director – External Affairs, Verizon; Raul Echevarria, Associate Director Business Sales Verizon.

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