Verizon Wireless presented a $100,000 HopeLine® grant to End Domestic Abuse WI today at the Wise Women Gathering Place in Green Bay, while also announcing the continuation of “Protection is the Name of the Game,” its long-running HopeLine collection with the Green Bay Packers.

The $100,000 grant from HopeLine will be used to further expand End Domestic Abuse WI’s work addressing teen dating violence across Wisconsin. As part of the statewide coalition for local domestic violence service providers, End Domestic Abuse WI supports the work of more than 75 local programs. That includes Wise Women Gathering Place in Green Bay, which serves more than 50 middle and high school students from the Oneida Nation community with after-school programming each week. In Wisconsin, local domestic violence service providers are critical to providing outreach to teens to stop violence before it happens.

“We are so grateful that Verizon Wireless is investing in this issue of domestic violence,” said Alice Skenandore, executive director, Wise Women Gathering Place. “Wise Women Gathering Place is also grateful for our ongoing relationship with End Domestic Abuse WI and the support they have provided over the past years.”

According to End Domestic Abuse WI, teen dating violence is more common than most realize. Eighty-one percent of parents don’t believe it is an issue in the lives of their teens, yet one in three adolescents will be affected by dating violence and 1.5 million high-school aged teens experience some form of physical violence from a dating partner each year. Furthermore, violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.

“Educating youth and teens about healthy relationships is essential to preventing violence from happening in the first place,” said Patti Seger, executive director, End Domestic Abuse WI. “If we fail to prevent domestic violence today amongst our young people, a certain percentage of them will be the victims of tomorrow.”

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews joined leadership from the three organizations to encourage Packers fans to participate in the 2014 continuation of the Green Bay Packers “Protection is the Name of the Game” partnership with Verizon.

All fans are encouraged to donate their no-longer-used wireless phones at special collection stations located around Lambeau Field before the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, Nov. 9. All donations go directly to HopeLine® from Verizon, to provide funding for organizations like End Domestic Abuse WI and the Wise Women Gathering Place. These funds help the organizations continue serving survivors of domestic abuse and educating children and young adults to make decisions and develop relationships based on respect.

“Domestic violence is a silent epidemic that has a widespread impact on the community,” said Brian Pascoe, region president for Verizon Wireless. “Together, we have an opportunity to lead and take a stand that will make a difference. Packers fans have always joined us in supporting the HopeLine program, and we have no doubt they will continue to stand with us and the organizations who serve our community.”

Additionally, for the second consecutive year, Verizon is partnering with Bellin Health locations in northeast Wisconsin to set up HopeLine collection stations. Those not attending the game at Lambeau Field may still participate by donating their no-longer-used wireless phones at Bellin Health and Verizon Wireless locations through the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And, throughout the year devices are accepted in stores, as well as in the Atrium (near Guest Services desk) at Lambeau Field.

Verizon is committed to helping the nearly one in four women, one in seven men and more than 3 million children in the United States affected by domestic violence each year. Through its HopeLine program, Verizon has donated more than 180,000 phone to survivors of domestic violence, and awarded more than $21 million in cash grants to its partner agencies.

About Verizon Wireless

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About HopeLine

Through HopeLine from Verizon Wireless, the public can help prevent domestic violence by donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories in any condition from nay service provide at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store. Wireless phones given to HopeLine are refurbished and sold for reuse, generating proceeds for the program. Refurbished phones – complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service and text-messaging service – are provided to local domestic violence agencies or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients. If donated phones are unsalvageable, they are recycled in an environmentally sound way under a zero landfill policy. Donated phones can help victims of abuse feel safer and less isolated by giving them a way to call emergency or support services, employers, family and friends. Phone donations given locally benefit victims of abuse within Milwaukee. HopeLine also donates cash grants to nonprofit organizations to help fund education, programs, support services and community outreach. Since 2001, more than 10.8 million phones have been collected nationwide, more than $21.4 million in cash grants have been given domestic violence organizations and more than 180,000 HopeLine phones have been donated to victims and survivors.

About End Domestic Abuse WI

Headquartered in Madison, Wis., End Domestic Abuse WI is the leading voice for victims of domestic abuse in Wisconsin. The organization stands as a coalition of organizations providing services throughout the state since 1978. The organization’s goals are to educate, shelter, and program volunteers and advocates, law enforcement, legislators, and community members to provide safety and support to survivors. End Domestic Abuse WI also works to shift Wisconsin away from the attitudes and beliefs that cause domestic violence and instead toward values of mutual respect and equality.

About Wise Women Gathering Place

Located in Green Bay, Wis., Wise Women Gathering Place is committed to peace, respect and belonging through skill building, sharing of resources and caring support for the community. Evolving from a circle of women gathered weekly for meetings, the organization grew to support community belonging, transitional living, youth programming and women’s and men’s support groups, as well as the Discovery Dating training that serves open discussion about relationships and respect.