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Domestic Violence, Verizon and Monsters

Dec. 12, 2011 - Over the past three weeks an epic struggle has quietly waged between giants Verizon and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) on the one hand and an admittedly smaller collection of individuals and groups who care about truth in advertising on the other.

Approximately three weeks ago the Verizon Foundation and NDVH jointly published a video depicting Fathers as monsters prowling the hallways of the home just waiting for the opportunity to attack.  In fact the video itself was titled “Monsters.”  Video narration involved the use of a small girl’s voice talking about how afraid she was of her father and indicating that when she grew up she would become a victim and her brother would become an abuser.  Originally ACFC posted the video on its Facebook page, however the link to the video is no longer active.  Read on to find out why, but first go to the facebook box on the left and like the ACFC page, then please ask your friends to do the same.

Our friends and colleagues at Save Services and the National Coalition for Free Men (NCFM) launched an aggressive campaign urging Verizon to pull the blatantly one sided and offensive video.    Verizon did not initially respond to polite letters and requests for dialogue.  So SAVE put out the call for volunteers to pass out flyers in front of Verizon stores to help the public better understand Verizon’s unflattering view of men, and particularly fathers.  On Thursday of last week, one of Verizon’s media relations people responded, indicating the video had been removed from the internet.

The Southern California protest was planned for this past Saturday.  NCFM decided to go ahead with the effort after Verizon spokesman Alberto Canal could not assure NCFM President Harry Crouch the video would not be distributed via other avenues.  The picture above is from NCFM’s Verizon store gathering this past Saturday in Southern California.   

Many of ACFC’s members and supporters have faced false allegations of abuse in divorce and child custody hearings resulting in temporary or permanent loss of relationships with their children.   The raising of false abuse allegations is recognized throughout legal profession literature as a significant problem for attorneys attempting to represent clients.  ACFC is concerned the widespread abuse of restraining orders, false allegations, overly broad definitions of abuse and misguided statutes and policies are hurting the ability of legitimate victims to receive the services they need. 

In 2006 ACFC published a report authored by Dr. Stephen Baskerville called ‘Family Violence in America.’  You can download it here.  Save Services is taking on the challenge of restructuring the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) so as to reduce its unintended consequences.  When public funding fosters the deliberate development of misinformation, it’s time for elected officials to review both the laws and funding streams.

While Verizon has pulled the offensive video it continues to promote one sided and misleading statements about domestic violence on its Verizon Foundation website.  Verizon has been asked to remove the statements by close of business today.  We’ll keep you informed.  

Comment on report here.