York Launches Anti-Domestic Violence Program with Verizon's Support

The Verizon Foundation recently presented York College with a check in the amount of $10,000 to launch York SAVES, an anti-domestic violence program for students to “empower other students to create and maintain healthy relationships, take a stand toward ending sexual assault and domestic violence and to minimize the impact of such events on survivors.”

The program goals include helping students to understand intimate partner violence and sexual assault, increase help-seeking behavior amongst students involved in abusive relationships or who have experienced sexual assault; promote healthier approaches to dating and relationships and conflicts, and more. The YorkSAVES project is a collaborative endeavor sponsored by the college’s Counseling Center, Men’s Center, Student Health Services and the Women’s Center, all within the Division of Student Development.

According to Ebonie Jackson, manager of the Women’s Center at York College, this is a vital program for any college campus and it will benefit York’s students as they negotiate their relationships as young adults. 

“Domestic Violence and Intimate partner Violence is pervasive in our society,” said Jackson. “According to a 2013 global review by the World Health Organization, 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical or intimate partner violence. And here in the United States 43% of dating college women report experiencing abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, verbal or controlling abuse. These statistics are staggering and unacceptable, so we got together to do something about it here at York College. Our answer is YorkSAVES, a peer-led program that will train 60 students to become anti-domestic violence advocates. Together we will take steps to increase awareness about this crucial issue.”

Patrick Lespinasse, a York College Foundation Board member and deputy director of Public Policy and External Affairs at Verizon was happy to support the organization. 

“At Verizon, we support the efforts of domestic violence organizations and agencies to prevent domestic violence; educate communities on cultivating healthy relationships; and empower victims and survivors with resources and tools to rebuild and succeed,” said Lespinasse. “It is in this spirit that we support YorkSAVES.”

Organizers included Sharon Hawkins (Student Health Services), Cicely Horsham-Brathwaite, Ph.D. (Counseling Center), Ebonie Jackson, (Women’s Center), Jonathan Quash (Men’s Center/ Black Male Initiative) and the York College Division of Student Development.

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