Maryland does a great job with providing domestic violence awareness activities at the school and state levels (see: Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program – and – The Domestic Violence Program). But more and more the emphasis is being placed on indoctrinating children at young ages to recognize the symptoms of domestic violence in the hopes that they will not fall prey to those patterns that will cause them to be abusers in later life.
Case in point: even as the NFL scrambles to denounce the myth that “Super Bowl Sunday claims more women as domestic violence victims than any other day of the year” (see the rumor dispelled here) , the NFL Players Association and the Verizon Foundation will be teaming up to provide domestic violence prevention training and information to teenagers taking part in the association’s Training Camp for Life program.
As part of this partnership, the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, will provide experts in domestic violence prevention and healthy relationships to talk with the teenagers. Training Camp for Life is a character and life skills development program designed to provide resources to assist students dealing with challenges and also help them build a strong sense of self.
“If we’re going to solve the epidemic of domestic violence, we need more men to take an active role,” said Verizon Foundation President Rose Stuckey Kirk.
“This partnership with the NFL Players Association and its emphasis on teen development is a natural way to engage men and boys to help break the cycle of violence. We are proud and excited to team with the NFL Players Association on this unique initiative.”
George Atallah, NFL Players Association assistant executive director, external relations, said, “At the NFL Players Association, we are concerned not only about the well-being of our members but also about teen athletes and their development on and off the field. We are glad to partner with Verizon to bring this valuable training to our program and be part of the solution to end domestic violence.”
The Verizon Foundation uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 millionto nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000.
Abuse markers get imprinted on children at an early age. Those learned patterns of abuse then grow into adulthood patterns of behavior where the cycle of abuse continues. Instead, the NFL and Verizon are providing our youth with the opportunity to learn abuse prevention techniques at an early age. Let’s hope that programs like these will in some small way help slow the epidemic of domestic violence.
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