News Release

Verizon Wireless, Indiana Attorney General Carter Introduce Campaign To Combat Partner Abuse At IPFW

September 11, 2006

Michelle Gilbert
Michelle.Gilbert@VerizonWireless.com
248-915-3680

Staci Schneider or Sarah Rittman
Indiana Attorney General's Office
staci.schneider@atg.state.IN.gov
sarah.rittman@atg.IN.gov
317-232-6351 or 317-234-2234

Annie Weisner
IPFW
weissnea@ipfw.edu
260-481-6166

FORT WAYNE, IN — Verizon Wireless today joined Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) in raising awareness of domestic violence on college campuses.

Two partner abuse awareness posters were unveiled and are being distributed on campus and to community organizations for display in high-traffic locations and counseling centers. The free posters highlight common phrases of verbal abuse that frequently are used to intimidate and control victims and may signal more violent behavior. Each poster prominently includes three telephone numbers to call for counseling or other help. These numbers are for the Fort Wayne YWCA 24-hour crisis hotline, the Fort Wayne Victim Assistant Program number and the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence's statewide 24-hour hotline.

Attending today's event with Attorney General Carter were Michelle Gilbert, public relations manager, Indiana/Kentucky/Michigan Region, Verizon Wireless, and IPFW representatives, including Chancellor Michael A. Wartell and students.

"The damaging cycle of domestic violence often begins with partner abuse among our youth," Gilbert said. "Through this campaign, we hope to put a greater focus on this problem and on the lasting negative impact it can have on young Hoosiers."

"Partner abuse can lead to physical or sexual abuse that can scar young people far beyond their college years," said Attorney General Carter. "This campaign can help students learn how to recognize abusive behavior and begin taking the steps necessary to break the pattern and find help."

Today's effort is a continuation of a statewide push to increase knowledge among college students about partner abuse and encourage victims to seek help. The partner abuse poster campaign, which kicked off last year at Butler University in Indianapolis, has also been implemented at Ball State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Evansville and Vincennes University.

"IPFW is delighted to partner with Verizon Wireless and Attorney General Carter to raise awareness of the devastation caused by partner abuse," said Chancellor Wartell. "We encourage anyone suffering from abuse to seek help through campus and community resources."

Educating women at the nation's universities about their risk of violence is critical. A recent study of more than 1000 female students at a campus in the Southeast U.S. found that 36.5 percent had an experience of victimization while a student at the university (Wilcox, Jordan & Pritchard, 2005). Another study of physical assault against college women found that 16.6 percent had been the target of physical aggression in the preceding year and that more than half (53.6 percent) had been threatened with violence (Leonard, Quigley & Collins, 2002). In addition, studies now document significant rates of stalking victimization among college women, with one study finding that 27 percent of college women will be victimized in that way (Spitzberg, 2002).

Other research studies show that college women are at greater risk for sexual assault than women in the general population (Fisher et al., 1998; DeKeseredy & Kelly, 1993). After conducting the most recent national study on campus rape that surveyed 4,446 college women, researchers estimated that if the risk of victimization were projected across a college career, the percentage of completed or attempted rapes among women would climb to between one-fifth and one-quarter (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000).

For more information about the partner abuse initiative, contact Michelle Gilbert at Verizon Wireless, 248-915-3680, or Sarah Rittman at the Indiana Attorney General's office, 317-234-2234. Colleges and organizations interested in receiving the posters may email their requests to PartnerAbuse@VerizonWireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About the Attorney General's Office
The office of the Indiana Attorney General helps protect the rights, freedoms and safety you enjoy as a citizen of the Hoosier state. In Indiana, the Attorney General works to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking by helping them return to normal, safe lives. One of the ways the Office does this is through the Address Confidentiality Program.

The Program allows victims of domestic violence who have protective orders to maintain a confidential address through the attorney general's office. It is not witness protection, nor is it a total guarantee of safety. It is simply one thing victims of domestic violence can do to help take their lives back. Many times, a confidential address is part of a larger, overall safety plan. More information about the Address Confidentiality Program  is available online.

About IPFW
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is a joint campus of two internationally recognized Big Ten schools. IPFW has the broadest scope of programs of all institutions of higher learning in northeastern Indiana, offering almost 200 degree and certificate options. IPFW has a diverse enrollment of nearly 12,000 students encompassing many ages, races, and nationalities. Through exemplary standards in teaching, research, and service, IPFW reflects Indiana University and Purdue University's commitments to excellence and lifelong learning. IPFW provides its students the opportunity for success through its academic diversity, affordability and flexibility.

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