Univera’s COVID-19 response includes funds for domestic violence prevention

Univera Healthcare and its Rochester-based parent health plan are providing $50,000 in financial support to domestic violence prevention organizations across upstate New York as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis. In Western New York, funding will be provided to the Family Justice Center and Pinnacle Community Services. The health plan has committed to spending more than $162 million this year as part of its comprehensive response to COVID-19.

“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 Dr. Sudha Bakshi, Univera Healthcare medical director. “Helping to put an end to domestic violence and removing barriers for those in need is our main objective with this funding.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women in the United States, and one in four men, have experienced violence from a partner in their lifetime—and the risks to the victims are severe. In general, victims of domestic violence face social isolation, but during a widespread pandemic when victims may not easily be able to get away from home, abusers have more tactics at their disposal.

It is important for individuals living in high-risk situations to know that despite the many closures in our community due to the pandemic, help is still available from the courts, domestic violence prevention organizations, shelters, and crisis hotlines. Domestic violence organizations are also working to develop new strategies to support victims during the pandemic by offering more discrete hotline services through online chats or texting, in case victims cannot easily call because their abuser is with them at home.

The organizations receiving funding from Univera Healthcare and its parent health plan include:

For the latest information on Univera Healthcare’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.theuniveradifference.com/covid19 .

Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that serves members across the eight counties of Western New York. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With nearly 500 employees in Western New York, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit UniveraHealthcare.com.

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