CALM Receives $20,000 Grant from Verizon

Funding will support the organization’s Domestic Violence Therapy Program

Child Abuse Listening & Mediation has received a $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation that will assist in funding their Domestic Violence Group Therapy program which provides support, counseling, case management, training, and referral services for mothers and children who have experienced domestic violence. The Verizon funds will provide staff resources and supplies to enable children to meet in age-appropriate peer groups, while mothers meet in parallel groups, receiving vital support during a critical recovery period.

CALM Board Member Dr. Gilbert Reyes, Executive Director Cecilia Rodriguez, Verizon Director of Government and External Affairs Holly Cole, CALM Clinical Director Elly Rumelt

In these groups, CALM therapists help families develop a safety plan in cases of ongoing or potential abuse, and recognize the warning signs of potential violence in a relationship. Group work provides a safe place for children to share their feelings, learn they are not alone, and understand that what happened was not their fault. Mothers learn the special skills that they need to parent children who have lived through family trauma. This learning is an essential component in stopping the cycle of violence. Once a month, families from the groups meet together to share meals and experiences, practice communication skills they’ve learned, and recognize their strengths and accomplishments, providing an essential support network for survivors who are often isolated from friends and family as a result of domestic violence.

“The Domestic Violence Group Therapy program makes a profound difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence,” said Holly Cole, Verizon director of government and external affairs. “Raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention is one of Verizon’s principal areas of focus. Verizon is proud to support organizations such as CALM that are working to break the cycle of violence and provide support to those in need.”

“CALM’s work with victims of domestic violence is strength-based, and trains and empowers women to trust themselves and stand on their own,” said Cecilia Rodriguez, Executive Director of CALM. “CALM’s partnership with Verizon will help support the delivery of treatment services to make it possible for CALM to better serve children and families suffering from domestic violence.”

CALM, Child Abuse Listening and Mediation, was founded in 1970 to reach stressed parents before they hurt their children. CALM continues to be the only non-profit agency in Santa Barbara County focusing solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive, cutting-edge programs. CALM offers children, families, and adults a safe, non-judgmental, caring, and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well-being. For more information about all of CALM’s services, please visit online or call (805) 965-2376.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational website, Verizon Thinkfinity, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.

In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded $67.9 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000.


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