HOTLINE: 800-439-6507

Contact: Donna Giberti,
Director of Development and Marketing
Independence House, Inc.
508-771-6507 x221, Fax  508-778-0143

Ellen Cummings, Verizon.  508.624.2219

Independence House Receives Verizon Foundation Grant to Support Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program

Hyannis, MA, December 22, 2012 — Independence House received a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to support a teen dating violence prevention and healthy relationship program for high school students on Cape Cod.

Independence House will use funds to expand the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Respectful Youth Relationships Program to educate some 60 students at Barnstable and Dennis-Yarmouth High Schools about dating violence while promoting healthy relationships. The program is modeled after the highly effective Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which was developed at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and has been implemented in hundreds of educational settings around the United States.

Independence House is one of 19 nonprofit agencies across Massachusetts receiving a total of $220,000 in grants to support domestic violence prevention and services programs.  This year, the Verizon Foundation focused its funding on programs that engage men in domestic violence awareness and prevention; mobilize teens to engage in healthy relationships and in spreading domestic violence prevention; help survivors transition through economic empowerment programs; and support families through healthcare initiatives.

“The Verizon Foundation is working to help stop the cycle of violence by providing financial, technical and human expertise to organizations that focus on education, prevention, victim relief and empowerment,” said Donna Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England.  “We appreciate Independence House’s leadership on this important issue, and are proud to support them in their mission to ensure people are able to live safer, healthier and happier lives.”

Senate President Therese Murray and Cupelo will join Independence House staff at Barnstable High School on Friday, Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. to learn more about the program from participating students and educators.

“Independence House is grateful for the support The Verizon Foundation provides for the youth prevention programs we facilitate in the Cape Cod community,” notes Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, Executive Director of Independence House. “With the education these young adults receive along with their active participation, there is great hope for a future violence free community.

Independence House, Inc. is a non-profit organization that in its 34thyear is the only comprehensive community-based resource on Cape Cod, providing free and confidential services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The agency operates its main office in Hyannis, with three satellite locations in Falmouth, Orleans and Provincetown, encompassing their services throughout Cape Cod to adults, teens and children.  Independence House’s main website is located at

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, health care and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook ( and Twitter (