Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will provide $50,000 in funding to domestic violence prevention organizations across Upstate New York as part of its response to COVID-19. In Rochester, funding will be provided to RESOLVE of Greater Rochester and Willow Domestic Violence Center.
The health plan has committed to spending more than $162 million to help its members and communities fight the pandemic, officials noted.
“With the numbers of people that continue to get sick, the growing unemployment rate and an increase in anxiety and financial stress, this pandemic has created the perfect storm for an exacerbated domestic violence crisis,” said Sudha Bakshi M.D., Excellus BCBS medical director. “Helping to put an end to domestic violence and removing barriers for those in need is our main objective with this funding.”
Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Excellus BCBS officials noted that one in three women and one in four men in the U.S. have experienced violence from a partner in their lifetime. Victims of domestic violence face more social isolation in general, which is exacerbated by the pandemic.
Officials said that with the multitude of entities closed to the public during COVID-19 it is important for those in high-risk situations to know that courts, many domestic violence organizations, phone hotlines and shelters are available to help.