Friday, October 14, 2011

How To Escape From Domestic Violence

Safe Escape: Survivors and Experts Offer Advice for Fleeing Domestic Violence
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, shares the hopeful story of one woman who successfully escaped domestic abuse.

CHICAGO, October 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Each year, more than 4 million women and one in 10 men are harmed by their partners, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tragically, the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence is when they try to leave.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month,, in collaboration with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, shares the story of Bessie, a domestic violence survivor, and provides practical tips and resources to help people break free from abusive relationships.

Barriers to escape
For years, Bessie hid the bruises. She lied to her friends and family, wore long sleeves and used make-up to cover the latest scars. She wanted to escape from her abusive husband, but feared what he would do if she tried to flee. Then, with the help of friends and a domestic violence support group, she made a plan for her escape.

A common misconception about victims of abuse, according to the experts featured on, is that they stay because they love the abuser and don’t want to leave. In reality, most don’t leave because they are unable to do so. Some are financially dependent upon their abusers–cut off from jobs, resources and even credit cards–and worry about how they will support themselves and their children. Some have been isolated from their family and friends and lack an adequate support system. Others are threatened with violence if they attempt to leave.

“There are a lot of structural barriers that make leaving and staying away from an abusive relationship really difficult,” says the CDC’s Phyllis Holditch Niolon in a video interview on the site.

Where can I learn more?
At, police officers, physicians, domestic violence experts and survivors like Bessie provide practical tips and information to help people safely escape abusive relationships.

Visitors can also register for the monthly Spotlight Newsletter and News Alerts for in-depth articles and breaking news on domestic violence and other important health topics. Visit for information about more women’s health topics—including pregnancy risks, mental health, STDs and caregiving.

About Be Smart. Be Well. is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Divisions of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media Contact:
Ross Blackstone
Media and Public Relations Manager
Health Care Service Corporation


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