Hotline for Domestic Violence Goes to Sex Chat

Callers to a domestic violence hotline advertised by police in Florida were surprised to hear a phone sex chat service at the other end of the line, cops said today.

"We got a call Tuesday from somebody we handed a pamphlet out to, and they said that number doesn't go to the Haven, the local domestic violence shelter. It goes to a sex chat line. So a deputy calls it, and it definitely doesn't go to the Haven," said Sgt. Jim Vachon of the Lake County, Fla., sheriff's office.

Vachon realized that hundreds of pamphlets they had given out to domestic violence and sexual assault victims over the years had the sex hotline number printed in place of one for the local domestic violence shelters.

Vachon said that the department had never received a complaint from someone bringing it to their attention before.

They immediately rescinded the pamphlets and printed up new ones with the correct number, he said.

Kelly Smallridge, executive director of the Haven, said the number used to belong to a rape crisis center that the Haven absorbed nearly 20 years ago.

"When we absorbed that agency in '95 or '96, all those numbers were disconnected," Kelly said. "What are the chances someone from a sex line would buy a rape crisis number?"

"I had never seen that number before," Kelly said, "(but) when you call the number, it comes back, it's a sex line. It's definitely not a domestic and sexual assault program."

Both Kelly and Vachon pointed out that phone numbers for the Haven were also listed on the pamphlet.

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