Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958
MAYOR GIULIANI ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH HIP AND VICTIM SERVICES TO PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today joined Anthony L. Watson, Chairman and CEO of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP), Lucy Friedman, Executive Director of Victim Services, Oscar Carter, New York State Health Department Metropolitan Director, and Cynthia Wainwright from the Chase Bank's Department of Corporate Social Responsibility, to announce a new Partnership to prevent domestic violence.
Through this Partnership HIP will train medical directors, primary care providers, medical specialists and administrative personnel to detect signs of domestic violence. It will also provide the victims timely access to information, support, counseling and health care services under an integrated network of medical and mental health providers, community based services, and continuous care management.
The Partnership expects to screen more than 200,000 patients at HIP's medical centers in Manhattan and the Bronx, from which an estimated 3,000 adult women in abusive relationships, and 2,000 children affected by an abusive parent will be identified and provided with assistance.
"This is not only a partnership between agencies," said Mayor Giuliani, "it is a partnership between victims of domestic violence and society. We are telling victims that we are here to help -- that we will work to understand their situations -- and work to offer them the assistance that they and their families need. I am proud to say that the City has encouraged and facilitated this partnership. When we convened the Mayor's Colloquium on Domestic Violence in May of last year, this is precisely the kind of program we envisioned.
"I commend Anthony Watson for his leadership in demonstrating HIP's social commitment; Victim Services, for its consistent support of domestic violence initiatives; The Robert Wood Johnson's Foundation; the New York State Health Department; and the private sector, for their generous financial support. All of you deserve New York City's gratitude for understanding our mission to help domestic violence victims, and for helping us fulfill that mission," concluded the Mayor.
Anthony Watson, Chairman and CEO of HIP, said, "All of us and all of you understand the tragedy of domestic violence, and the indelibly destructive consequences it has for women and children. What our program aims to achieve is a widening intervention of the highest priority. We want to put ourselves between the abuser and the abused and safe keep the victims. And it is our inspired hope that if we can intervene and do it successfully, then there is a real chance that domestic violence will no longer be the legacy handed down through generations. Safe keeping and healing. That's what Mayor Giuliani and the rest of us are all about."
HIP has committed $375,000 to the $1 million project. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has provided a $295,000 grant to Victim Services and Commissioner Barbara DeBuono of the New York State Health Department has given Victim Services a grant of $30,000. The remaining $300,000 will be raised from the corporate sector, including the Chase Bank.
Over the last three and a half years, New York City has gained prominence as a national leader in the fight against domestic violence, and has markedly improved its municipal response system.
New York City purchases health insurance for its employees and their families, which covers 1.1 million New Yorkers, and, as of January, 1998, all health insurance providers will address domestic violence as a condition of their contract with the City.
New York City also requires that all Medicaid Managed Care programs contracting with the City establish domestic violence programs for their members. Over the next few years, this will account for 1.2 million New Yorkers.
Both of these programs ensure that over the next few years, over 2 million New Yorkers will have health care programs with a domestic violence component.
Giuliani Administration initiatives have included:
- A comprehensive Police Department strategy to break the cycle of domestic violence including dedicated domestic violence officers and investigators in each precinct, a computer tracking system and an intensive, ongoing training program to ensure adherence to the New York Police Department's (NYPD) pro-arrest policy for domestic violence related crimes.
- A domestic violence protocol for every municipal health care facility including dedicated domestic violence coordinators in each facility, training for all hospital staff, and the collection of data for a joint Health & Hospitals Corporation (HHC)/ Department of Health (DOH) Domestic Violence Surveillance Program.
- Trained counselors from Victim Services are available around the clock on the City's first 24-hour, multi-lingual, dedicated Domestic Violence Hotline to offer emergency counseling and referrals to all New Yorkers, including people who are hearing-impaired.
- The Citywide Domestic Violence Public Education Campaign has been widely displayed on posters throughout the City's transportation system, and public service announcements have been aired on radio.
- By 1997, shelter bed capacity under the Giuliani Administration will have increased by 40%, while innovative alternatives to domestic violence shelter, like the Alternative to Shelter Pilot, have offered victims of violence new safety options.
- Project L.I.F.E. (Legal Initiative for Freedom and Empowerment) has increased victim access to free, trusted legal services through a partnership with 17 private law firms.
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