The Public Service Commission says secrecy is one way to protect domestic abuse victims. Consider this scenario: an abused wife calls a domestic abuse hotline. Later, somebody from the domestic abuse shelter calls back but the abused woman is not at home. Later, her husband checks the caller I-D machine and learns she has called for help and has probably turned him in. What do you think could happen when the wife comes back home? The Public Service Commission has imposed an emergency rule letting some agencies keep their numbers and names from showing up on caller ID machines. The PSC’s Bill Voight says it’s a matter of health, safety and welfare. The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence took the issue to the Commission several days ago. The rule is in response to that effort. The shelters and law enforcement agencies have to ask the telephone companies to install blocking systems so their numbers don’t show up on home phones. The phone companies cannot charge those agencies for those services. The emergency rule goes into effect October 6th. The Commission expects to make it permanent next spring.
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