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TUPELO, Miss. (Oct. 14, 2013) – In the U.S., 35 percent of all emergency room visits are due to domestic violence, and one in four women will become a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed each October to mourn those who have died as a result of domestic abuse, celebrate those who have survived, and raise public awareness about violence in the home.

Today, the City of Tupelo, Verizon Wireless, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association and S.A.F.E. Inc. announced their collaboration on the “Don’t Let DV Coast” campaign. Mayor Jason Shelton formally declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Tupelo at a news conference in Fairpark.

“It’s important to recognize the compassion and dedication of the individuals who provide services to victims of domestic violence and who work to increase public understanding,” said Shelton. “I’d like to thank the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association and Verizon Wireless for the work they are doing to promote awareness and encourage other companies and individuals to do what they can to help.”

Guest speakers at the news conference included Mayor Shelton, Lori Anne Singleton of Verizon Wireless, Jessica Reed of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association and Deborah Yates of S.A.F.E. Inc. Verizon Wireless distributed “Don’t Let DV Coast” drink coasters to all participating Main Street restaurants and establishments for their use throughout October.

To promote awareness, Verizon produced drink coasters encouraging patrons in Tupelo to stand up against domestic violence. The coasters include a QR code that directs users to a website where they can get more information, view a trailer for the domestic violence awareness documentary “Telling Amy’s Story,” find links to participating restaurants and domestic violence support organizations, and download the Verizon Hopeline assistance app.

“Domestic violence is a crime that is drastically increasing and that too often goes unnoticed or unaddressed,” said Singleton, district manager of Verizon Wireless in the Tupelo area. “In order to make a difference, it requires involvement from the entire community. Verizon is committed to creating safer homes and communities in Mississippi by helping building awareness and supporting organizations, such as S.A.F.E. Inc., that serve victims of domestic violence.”

Verizon works with several organizations that support victims of domestic violence, along with shelters throughout Mississippi. For more information on “Don’t Let DV Coast,” visit DontLetDVCoast.com/Tupelo.

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