Capital Blue Cross, Pennsylvania Blue Shield and Partners Announce Campaign Against Domestic Violence

Toll-Free Number, 1-866-near-you, Established to Help Victims



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Blue Shield

    CAMP HILL, Pa., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of their ongoing efforts
 to combat domestic violence, Capital Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield,
 Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher, and the Pennsylvania Coalition
 Against Domestic Violence have teamed up to sponsor a six-week television
 advertising campaign to help combat domestic violence in central Pennsylvania.
 The television spots will begin airing on local stations April 23rd.
     The campaign will be coordinated with a network of community service
 agencies that work with domestic violence victims to ensure that referrals are
 promptly made and services are provided.  One of those agencies is The YWCA of
 Greater Harrisburg.  The YWCA will provide staffing of a toll-free phone
 number for victims to call for help.
     "Domestic violence is a prevalent public health issue and one that is
 often not talked about.  As health insurers we want to take an active role in
 raising awareness and helping end the cycle of violence," said George Grode,
 executive vice president of Government Business and Corporate Affairs for
 Highmark.  "One look at the statistics and you realize the terrible human as
 well as financial toll this problem is in our society.  Close to $1 million
 per day is spent in Pennsylvania on domestic violence related medical
 expenses.
     "About half of the victims of domestic violence report some type of injury
 and 20 percent seek medical care.  Nationally, 2,000 women will lose their
 lives this year as a consequence of abuse and in Pennsylvania more than
 100,000 individuals sought treatment and/or shelter in the state's networks of
 women's shelters and domestic violence programs," said Grode.
     "Family violence doesn't just happen in the headlines.  It happens every
 day in thousands of homes and communities throughout Pennsylvania," said
 Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher.  "This Public Service Announcement
 is intended to raise awareness among all Central Pennsylvanians of the reality
 of family violence.  Through education, prevention and vigorous law
 enforcement, we can stop family violence in Pennsylvania."
     "Domestic violence takes a terrible toll in our commonwealth; last year,
 alone, 115 lives were lost as the result of this deadly crime," said Susan
 Kelly-Dreiss, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against
 Domestic Violence.  Kelly-Dreiss said her organization welcomes the
 opportunity to collaborate on this awareness campaign that will alert the
 public to the free and confidential services that are available to victims of
 domestic violence and their children through local domestic violence programs.
 "We also hope this effort will promote a shift from passive tolerance to
 proactive responsibility for intervention and prevention of violence that
 systematically destroys lives, shatters families and devastates communities,"
 Kelly-Dreiss added.
     A toll-free number has been established for anyone who is dealing with
 this problem.  The number is 1-866-near-you or 1-866-632-7968.  Calls will be
 handled by the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, which will provide services, or
 refer callers from outside their own coverage area to appropriate agencies,
 and track the number of calls.  Other critically important community partners
 are ACCESS-York, Inc., Lancaster Shelter for Abused Women, Domestic Violence
 Services of Cumberland and Perry counties, and Domestic Violence Intervention
 of Lebanon County.
     "This television campaign will have great impact.  It will bring outreach
 and help directly into the homes of victims of domestic violence.  And, it
 will do so safely and discreetly.  We owe a debt of gratitude to the sponsors
 of this important initiative," said Kathryn McCorkle, chief executive officer
 of the YWCA.
     As health insurers who want to promote the prevention of violence, Capital
 Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield have an extensive history of trying to
 combat domestic violence.  Last year Pennsylvania Blue Shield produced a
 report on the health care costs associated with violence and partnered with
 the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and others on the program,
 "PeaceWork."  That prevention program attempted to challenge attitudes that
 support violence.
 
                      Some facts about domestic violence:
 
      -- The amount spent in Pennsylvania on domestic violence-related medical
          expenses is approximately $327 million annually.
 
      -- There were at least 76 domestic violence incidents that resulted in
          115 deaths in Pennsylvania in 2000.
 
      -- It is estimated that there are 1 - 4 million incidents of domestic
          violence each year in the United States.
 
      -- Forty percent of teenage girls report knowing someone who has been
          beaten by a boyfriend.
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Blue Shield
    CAMP HILL, Pa., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of their ongoing efforts
 to combat domestic violence, Capital Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield,
 Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher, and the Pennsylvania Coalition
 Against Domestic Violence have teamed up to sponsor a six-week television
 advertising campaign to help combat domestic violence in central Pennsylvania.
 The television spots will begin airing on local stations April 23rd.
     The campaign will be coordinated with a network of community service
 agencies that work with domestic violence victims to ensure that referrals are
 promptly made and services are provided.  One of those agencies is The YWCA of
 Greater Harrisburg.  The YWCA will provide staffing of a toll-free phone
 number for victims to call for help.
     "Domestic violence is a prevalent public health issue and one that is
 often not talked about.  As health insurers we want to take an active role in
 raising awareness and helping end the cycle of violence," said George Grode,
 executive vice president of Government Business and Corporate Affairs for
 Highmark.  "One look at the statistics and you realize the terrible human as
 well as financial toll this problem is in our society.  Close to $1 million
 per day is spent in Pennsylvania on domestic violence related medical
 expenses.
     "About half of the victims of domestic violence report some type of injury
 and 20 percent seek medical care.  Nationally, 2,000 women will lose their
 lives this year as a consequence of abuse and in Pennsylvania more than
 100,000 individuals sought treatment and/or shelter in the state's networks of
 women's shelters and domestic violence programs," said Grode.
     "Family violence doesn't just happen in the headlines.  It happens every
 day in thousands of homes and communities throughout Pennsylvania," said
 Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher.  "This Public Service Announcement
 is intended to raise awareness among all Central Pennsylvanians of the reality
 of family violence.  Through education, prevention and vigorous law
 enforcement, we can stop family violence in Pennsylvania."
     "Domestic violence takes a terrible toll in our commonwealth; last year,
 alone, 115 lives were lost as the result of this deadly crime," said Susan
 Kelly-Dreiss, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against
 Domestic Violence.  Kelly-Dreiss said her organization welcomes the
 opportunity to collaborate on this awareness campaign that will alert the
 public to the free and confidential services that are available to victims of
 domestic violence and their children through local domestic violence programs.
 "We also hope this effort will promote a shift from passive tolerance to
 proactive responsibility for intervention and prevention of violence that
 systematically destroys lives, shatters families and devastates communities,"
 Kelly-Dreiss added.
     A toll-free number has been established for anyone who is dealing with
 this problem.  The number is 1-866-near-you or 1-866-632-7968.  Calls will be
 handled by the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, which will provide services, or
 refer callers from outside their own coverage area to appropriate agencies,
 and track the number of calls.  Other critically important community partners
 are ACCESS-York, Inc., Lancaster Shelter for Abused Women, Domestic Violence
 Services of Cumberland and Perry counties, and Domestic Violence Intervention
 of Lebanon County.
     "This television campaign will have great impact.  It will bring outreach
 and help directly into the homes of victims of domestic violence.  And, it
 will do so safely and discreetly.  We owe a debt of gratitude to the sponsors
 of this important initiative," said Kathryn McCorkle, chief executive officer
 of the YWCA.
     As health insurers who want to promote the prevention of violence, Capital
 Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield have an extensive history of trying to
 combat domestic violence.  Last year Pennsylvania Blue Shield produced a
 report on the health care costs associated with violence and partnered with
 the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and others on the program,
 "PeaceWork."  That prevention program attempted to challenge attitudes that
 support violence.
 
                      Some facts about domestic violence:
 
      -- The amount spent in Pennsylvania on domestic violence-related medical
          expenses is approximately $327 million annually.
 
      -- There were at least 76 domestic violence incidents that resulted in
          115 deaths in Pennsylvania in 2000.
 
      -- It is estimated that there are 1 - 4 million incidents of domestic
          violence each year in the United States.
 
      -- Forty percent of teenage girls report knowing someone who has been
          beaten by a boyfriend.
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Blue Shield