At the end of October, the National Domestic Violence Hotline held its annual Vital Links Awards in New York to honor individuals and organizations which have significantly contributed to building awareness of family violence prevention services. Honorees have courageously spoken out against domestic violence and in support of survivors and their families.
Fox News Channel Fox & Friends Co-Anchor Gretchen Carlson was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Sponsors for the event included Platinum sponsors Verizon, FedEx and CTIA The Wireless Foundation, Gold sponsors Liz Claiborne, Red Media Group, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs with all of its contributing organizations, and Silver sponsors Kaiser Permanente, Lifetime Networks and Burson Marsteller. Other contributors included New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC, GFWC Federation Guild Association, Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher, Gap, Inc. and Richard Pizutto Events Management.
Awards and recipients included:
- Voices for Change Award to S. Epatha Merkerson, who portrays Lieutenant Anita Van Buren of NBC’s award-winning series Law and Order.
- Vital Link Award to the Verizon Foundation for its generosity and support, on a local and national level of domestic violence education, prevention and victim empowerment programs.
- Special Tribute for Lifetime Achievement to Linda Fairstein, best-selling author of crime novels, and one of the country’s leading legal experts on crimes of violence, having served for 25 years as the Bureau Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
- Special Tribute for Advocacy and Social Change to Victor Rivas Rivers, who speaks out on the effects of domestic violence on behalf of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and is the author of a personal memoir, a Private Family Matter. In his book, Victor writes bravely and honestly about what it is like to grow up in a home dominated by domestic violence. In addition to his national speaking engagements, Victor is a regular in the NBC hit series Life.
- Media for Change Award to Seventeen Magazine for leading the national conversation about healthy dating and dating abuse, and its support of loveisrespect.org, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline.
- Media for Change Award to MySpace for its partnership with loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline which provided advertising to promote the Helpline to teens.
- Volunteers for Change to Jacquelyn Pierce and Nannette White of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) which took on Domestic Violence awareness and prevention as it special project for 2006-2008. Under the leadership of then-International President Jacquelyn Pierce and Chair Nannette White, the GFWC contributed more than $15.9 million to domestic violence awareness and prevention projects throughout the United States. To celebrate receipt of the award, 37 members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs were in attendance. These 37 club members were from 13 states, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Washington.