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May 16, 2014

Verizon gives funds to extend training against domestic violence

Center for Women and Families received more than $20,000 in grant money

CLARKSVILLE — The Center for Women and Families in Louisville on Thursday received more than $20,000 in grant money from HopeLine from Verizon, which connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds organizations nationwide and protects the environment.

The grants will serve to help expand “Green Dot” training aimed at helping area teenagers to create and foster a culture of safe relationship behavior.

At a news conference Thursday, students from Our Lady of Providence Junior/Senior High School in Clarksville, having completed the first year of training in the Green Dot program provided by The Center for Women and Families, talked about how the training already has given them tools to promote safer relationships among their fellow students and communicate intolerance for any type of relationship violence.

“Green Dot has taught me that someone doesn’t have to do everything, but everyone has to do something,” said Vanessa Covarrubias, a junior at Our Lady of Providence, in a news release. “It is important to intervene if we see an act of injustice happening. The only way we can make the world a better place for everyone is by being a Green Dot.”

“Green Dot is a way for people to stand up for each other and give positivity back to each other,” added Luke Schroering, a freshman at the school.

The Green Dot etc. program, developed at the University of Kentucky Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, trains individuals as peers and cultural influencers in behaviors that help establish intolerance of violence as the norm. While a red dot might be an act of violence or a choice to tolerate it, a green dot is any behavior, choice, word or attitude that promotes safety for friends and neighbors, and that communicates intolerance for violence. Verizon Wireless presented The Center for Women and Families with a check for $21,860 to expand Green Dot training to an additional school — to be named later — in the area.

“The heart of our work at The Center for Women and Families is the story of each person we touch, each life we save, each child with a restored future,” said Marta Miranda, president and CEO of The Center for Women and Families. “After years of advocating for survivors, we have reached a pivotal moment in our history. Our challenge today is to reach women, men and children before they are affected by violence.

“Thanks to the financial support or companies such as Verizon, we are able to focus on the prevention of domestic violence through programs such as the Green Dot training.”

“The statistics are shocking,” said John Granby, president-Indiana/Kentucky/Michigan, Verizon Wireless. “One study says nearly 10 percent of high schools students report being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend, and another found that a third of adolescent girls actually are abused by a dating partner.

“Verizon Wireless is committed to changing these numbers by supporting organizations that provide prevention and education, as well as intervention, treatment and support for survivors and their families.”

The grants presented bring the total funding from HopeLine for Green Dot training in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to more than $127,000 since 2012. In Kentucky and Indiana alone this year, Verizon has distributed more than $131,000 in HopeLine grants.

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