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Drexel to Host Women Against Abuse Third Annual iPledge Campaign

PHILADELPHIA, October 6, 2010

Women Against Abuse (WAA), Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence agency, will kick off the 3rd Annual iPledge Campaign, sponsored by Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program, the Verizon Foundation and Drexel University, calling on Philadelphians to take a stand against domestic violence. "In a city in which domestic violence murders nearly doubled in the past year and requests for help were made at unprecedented numbers, it is more important than ever for us to raise awareness to the prevalence of domestic violence and call on the community to take a stand against violence," said Jeannine L. Lisitski, WAA’s Executive Director. "Everyone can do this by visiting www.iPledgeWAA.org and signing the pledge. We need your help to keep our life saving services available and to help families break free from the cycle of violence.” The iPledge Campaign will launch with an Oct. 6th press conference featuring Mayor Michael Nutter. The press conference will take place at noon at Drexel University’s Dragon Park on the Southeast corner of 33rd and Market streets. In addition to the Mayor, speakers at the press conference will include Drexel University’s Dean of Students, David Ruth; President of Verizon Wireless’ Philadelphia Tri-State Region, Mario Turco; Elizabeth Datner, Medical Director of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; and William Spratley, whose daughter was murdered by an abusive partner. Singer/songwriter Laura Warshauer will play her featured song “My Fault,” which describes the experience of a domestic violence survivor. Other entertainment will include Drexel University’s student pep band, and the Drexel Dragon mascot ‘Mario the Magnificent.’ Lead sponsor Verizon Wireless will have netbooks available through which participants can sign an electronic pledge against violence. Verizon Wireless will also be collecting used cell phones for survivors, and encourages the community to donate their no-longer needed cell phones to its HopeLine Program (www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline). In recognition of the iPledge Campaign, Philadelphia Community College will also be collecting used cell phones through the HopeLine Program. “For more than a decade we’ve focused our community service efforts on domestic violence awareness and prevention and we remain more committed than ever to the cause,” said Verizon Wireless’ Mario Turco. “I invite other leading corporations across the region to lend their support and resources to this critical community-focused initiative.” The Cira Centre and PECO building will be lit purple – the official color of the domestic violence movement – as will Drexel’s Walkway Park (32nd Street, between Market and Chestnut streets) and the fountain at Korman Quad (between 32nd and 33rd streets, Market and Chestnut streets). Purple iPledge banners and bus shelter ads will also line Broad and Market Streets. Purple refreshments at the kick-off event will be courtesy of Sodexo, Philly Flavors, and South Street’s Jim’s Steaks. City Council will proclaim October Domestic Violence Awareness Month during session on September 30th. Other events scheduled in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month include Senator LeAnna Washington’s 3rd annual Walk to End Domestic Violence on October 23rd at West River Drive; an October 27th opening of an art exhibit at the Philadelphia Foundation featuring creative pieces from the child artists at the Women Against Abuse emergency shelter; and the Women Against Abuse fundraising event, Dish It Up, on November 4th at Moore College of Art and Design. For more information, visit www.iPledgeWAA.org or call 215 386 1280 x115. About Women Against Abuse Women Against Abuse (WAA), Inc., one of the largest domestic violence programs in the country, serves more than 10,000 individuals each year through emergency housing, legal services, hotline counseling, education and advocacy. WAA operates the only comprehensive program in Philadelphia whose sole purpose is to assist victims of domestic violence and their children. For more information, go to www.womenagainstabuse.org. About Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries, and accessories nationwide for victims of domestic violence. The initiative began in 1995, and to date, Verizon Wireless has collected over 76,000 phones with more than 228 million minutes of free wireless service to be used by domestic abuse survivors and awarded more than 6.3 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies across the country. ### News media contact: Taluva PR, info@taluvapr.com, 267-886-8888