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'SCARED SILENT' ONLY FIRST STEP, USAA CHAIRMAN SAYS

 'SCARED SILENT' ONLY FIRST STEP, USAA CHAIRMAN SAYS
 SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The television documentary


"Scared Silent: Exposing and Ending Child Abuse," stunned millions of viewers, thanks to CBS, NBC, PBS and ABC television networks, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the television networks of at least six other foreign nations. Never before has a non-news event appeared simultaneously on three major networks in prime time. But, says its primary sponsor United Services Automobile Association, the program is only the beginning of the story. The next chapters have to address the question: How does the adult population stop and prevent the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children?
 Robert F. McDermott, CEO of USAA, proposes a three part answer to that question: "First, we must acknowledge the 'Epidemic of Silence.' America's children constitute 25 percent of our population. More importantly, they comprise 100 percent of our future. Yet they comprise the only major group in our society that does not have organized advocates in their school districts, churches, synagogues or paid lobbyists in Washington, in our state capitols or our cities speaking out for their special interests.
 "Second, the sexual, physical and emotional abuses of our children are parts of a syndrome that has long ago reached crisis proportions in America. It is fortuitous for all adults to see these symptoms of abuse well exposed and documented in a special report of FORTUNE dated Aug. 10, 1992, entitled 'Children in Crisis -- The Struggle to Save America's Kids.' This report leads to the inevitable conclusion that in the United States today, children are victims of a classic dilemma -- what is everybody's business is nobody's business. It is a dilemma our society must resolve if our family values are to be preserved. It is imperative that we mobilize children's advocates now from every segment of the adult population before we reach a point of no return.
 "Third, the mobilization can begin now with responsible adults reading the FORTUNE special report to not only get a perspective of the syndrome, but to find a focus for action depending on one's interests and assessment of a critical need for help. For those who have a desire for one-on-one action in addressing the child abuse problems, there are local agencies in most communities looking for volunteers. For relatives wishing to help their own children or grandchildren I highly recommend a Paramount Home Video, 'Strong Kids, Safe Kids' produced by Henry (The Fonz) Winkler with special appearances of John Ritter and Mariette Hartley. The film addresses parents and children together on subjects of sexual molestation and abduction. It is appropriate for families or school classes to watch together."
 USAA is an international financial group primarily serving active-duty military officers and their families. The company has long been committed to public service -- more specifically to the goal of preservation of family values. In 1989-90, the company released a 5-part series of films on children entitled, "Raising Good Kids in Bad Times." That nationally syndicated series was followed by another film in 1991, "Over the Influence," which addressed the drug problem in our society. All these films, like "Scared Silent," were produced by Arnold Shapiro, who won an Academy Award for a nationally-acclaimed film, "Scared Straight," and a dozen Emmys awarded for his TV documentaries.
 -0- 9/4/92
 /CONTACT: Paul Ringenbach for United Services Automobile Association, 512-657-1531/ CO: United Services Automobile Association ST: Texas IN: ENT SU:


DC -- DC030 -- 7175 09/04/92 23:01 EDT
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Date:Sep 4, 1992
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