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More Financial Aid Coming for KY Domestic Violence Survivors



December 9, 2010

FRANKFORT, Ky. - For women escaping abusive intimate partner relationships, worries about how to make ends meet often hold them back. To help address that problem, the Verizon Foundation is donating $10,000 to the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association Economic Empowerment Project.

Project director Mary O'Doherty says the donation will help more victims leave abusers and get back on their feet.

"Arguably, economic issues are the biggest reason why so many survivors stay in these abusive relationships. They're afraid if they leave, the standard of living for their children will decline."

O'Doherty says the funds will be used for financial literacy classes, credit counseling, savings accounts and microloans for survivors served by the state's 15 domestic violence programs.

The economic empowerment project has already helped hundreds of survivors work toward self-sufficiency.

"We provide two dollars for every dollar that a domestic violence survivor saves, in a federally funded program that helps them buy a house, pursue a post-secondary education or start a small business."

It has helped survivors like Christa McMichael and her two daughters, who were living on public assistance in Owensboro. She first sought services to help with college costs. Now a homeowner, McMichael says the benefit to her kids is priceless.

"They see that I am an independent person. They look up to me. And, at this point in my life, I'm able to do a little bit more for my kids than I was able to do in the past for them."

O'Doherty says Verizon has a long-standing commitment of supporting domestic violence services, including donated cell phones for shelters to give to victims. Most recently, the company paid for a Public Television special about domestic violence.

Renee Shaw, Public News Service - KY
 

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