Monday, December 27, 2010

Entreprenurship Grants Available to Domesitc Abuse Survivors

Verizon, which has been working to end domestic abuse nation-wide through its HopeLine initiative, donated $45,000 to the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) grant program. The program awards grants ranging from $500-$2500 to domestic violence victims to help them start their small businesses.

Domestic abuse not only affects a victim emotionally but also financially. Often, a victim of abuse must leave her home and belongings in order to escape an abuser. For many abuse victims, starting a business may be the first time they have ever experienced financial freedom from an abuser.

"For many domestic violence survivors, escaping an abusive spouse or partner is only half the battle," said Russ Preite, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "Moving forward and creating an independent, self-sufficient life is a critical next step. It's our hope that the Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Program will help some of these women put their hard-won skills to work to successfully bring a small business to life and regain their independence" (quoted from "Verizon Giving Entrepreneuship Grants to Domestic Violence Survivors").

The Uncovered Artistry Project, which operates a boutique that sells the artisan work of domestic abuse survivors, offers microloans to artisans. If an artisan needs funds to continue her craft, she can request a small loan ranging from $25-$200 from UA's microloan fund. Uncovered Artistry believes in OPDV's concept that entrepreneurship can empower victims of domestic and sexual abuse both financially and emotionally.

Said, Marguerite, one of Uncovered Artistry's artisans who sells her work in the online boutique, "I not only survived, but I've overcome, I've learned to forgive, and I've learned patience."

Entrepreneurship leads domestic violence victims to a more fulfilling, self-sustainting life.

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