FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield police continue to respond to and investigate thousands of calls of domestic abuse each year. Local organizations like Harmony House and The Victim Center are consistently seeing an increased need for their services for victims of abuse. The community has seen violence among family members turn lethal in Springfield’s recent history.
The Springfield area’s Family Violence Task Force (established in late 2012) had many objectives to explore upon its formation, but one central goal was to educate the community about the issues of family violence and the overall effect this issue has on the quality of life, businesses, education and civic reputation.
“Domestic violence is not a police problem, a prosecutor problem or a court problem,” said Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson. “It’s a community problem, and the only way to defeat it is for the entire community to come together.”
With the goals of both preventing domestic violence and increasing community awareness of the issue, the Family Violence Task Force is hosting the fourth annual Stop the Violence conference on Oct. 27 at Missouri State University’s Plaster Student Union. The conference will include two keynote speakers, Susan Still and Elizabeth Crawford, a community resource panel and four breakout sessions to choose from which will be offered both in the morning and in the afternoon.
In an effort to provide this training at no cost to anyone in the region, Verizon Wireless has awarded a $12,000 HopeLine grant to the Family Violence Task Force, which is part of Community Partnership of the Ozarks' Violence Free Families coalition. Also sponsoring this conference are BKD, LLP, and Missouri State Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Missouri State University.
Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program supports domestic violence prevention and awareness programs across the country and collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries and accessories from any wireless carrier. Phones that can be refurbished are sold for reuse and those without value are disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Proceeds from the program are used to provide wireless phones and cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.
“Verizon is committed to helping end domestic violence, and the HopeLine program is a big part of that commitment,” said Russ Preite, Market President of Verizon Wireless. “Wireless phones and technology are vital links for all of us. But they are also a lifeline for domestic violence victims and survivors in times of crisis to get help and to stay connected with employers, family and friends.”
HopeLine device and accessory donations are accepted at all Verizon Wireless Communications stores across Missouri or through the mail – pre-paid postage and additional information is available at verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
For more information about the Stop the Violence conference, visit stoptheviolenceSGF.org. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the 24-hour crisis hotline at 417-864-SAFE (7233). If outside the Springfield area, call 1-800-821-6863.
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Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer