Calls to Domestic Violence Hot Lines Jump With PM-Simpson-Slayings, Bjt
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ As the O.J. Simpson investigation unfolds, calls are flooding domestic violence hot lines in Southern California.
Calls are up 80 percent at the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, according to hot line coordinator Andrea Thompson Adam.
″It seems the more this unwinds, the more the phones start ringing,″ she said.
The Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council says the county’s other 18 hot lines for battering victims have also reported increased calls, as well as higher attendance at support groups.
″It’s really shaken the tree,″ said Thompson Adam.
In the aftermath of the June 12 slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, details of the Simpsons’ stormy marriage have been made public.
Earlier this week, police released tapes of several 911 calls Ms. Simpson made to report violence or abuse by her ex-husband.
″The women say, ‘If it could happen to Nicole, it could happen to me. ...’ The men say things like, ’I’ve pushed my wife before. Does this mean I’m a batterer?‴ said Thompson Adam.
Hot-line workers report that about half the men and women who have called since Monday have mentioned the Simpson case.
Roz Wolpert, a volunteer counselor at Sojourn, a Santa Monica program for battered women, recalled one woman who called this week after enduring a violent relationship for seven years.
″She told me the only reason she was finally calling is what’s happening on the news,″ Wolpert said. ″I was beside myself, I was so happy that something good could come from this.″
But others are less sanguine. Jan Tyler, program director of Human Options in South Orange County, says the case has intensified fear for some victims.
″They say, ’This is making me scared, the Simpson thing,‴ Tyler said.
″Some said they wanted to leave the area.″