Abuse hotlines remain active

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Abuse  hotlines  remain  activeThe Kern County District Attorney’s office issued a reminder to residents that hotlines for domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault remain manned and available to those in need.

“Economic disruptions on the scale that we are seeing from the coronavirus pandemic can place a great deal of stress on families,” said D.A. Cynthia Zimmer.

“Unfortunately, increased pressure on families can often trigger domestic violence or child abuse. In these uncertain times, it is important for families to have guidance on issues related to these crimes and to understand the warning signs that often lead up to them.”

As always, crimes in progress should be reported to local law enforcement or by calling 9-1-1, said Zimmer. However, local resources in the Indian Wells Valley include the Women’s Center High Desert, which offers a domestic violence hotline at 760-375-7525 and a sexual assault line at 760-375-0745.

Carol Beecroft, director of the Women’s Center, said that in addition to the staffing manning hotlines, she also has case managers providing crisis counseling and referrals over the phone.

While reports of increased incidents of violence circulate through unofficial channels, Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said that his department has seen a slight uptick in domestic violence calls, as well.

“We are here for anyone who needs our help,” he said. Officers are still responding to emergency calls, he said.

McLaughlin said that anyone experiencing an emergency should call 9-1-1. Those wanting to report incidents or concerns can call 760-499-5100.

He also recommended the Women’s Center as a resource for those experiencing domestic distress.

Pictured: Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin — News Review file photo

Story First Published: 2020-03-27