Abuse victims need
escape plan

The director of a support group
says expert help minimizes
the risk of leaving

The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when she decides to leave the relationship, Cindy Iannce-Spencer says.

Calls for help

Those who want to contact the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline can call 531-3771. All calls are confidential.

"That's when we see men perpetuate homicides, separation homicides," said Iannce-Spencer, director of client and community services at the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse & Legal Hotline.

On Saturday, neighbors said Tan "Danny" Lam had been worried about his wife's talk of getting a divorce. Lam was indicted yesterday by an Oahu grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Melody.

Police said Lam admitted killing Melody Lam, mother of two children. She was found lying on a mattress in their Kapahulu home Saturday and appeared to have serious head injuries, according to a police affidavit.

A large hammer was near her body.

At a news conference yesterday, Iannce-Spencer said victims should strategize their departure from the relationship with help from a domestic violence service provider to ensure their safety.

Female victims of domestic violence often experience embarrassment and shame and blame themselves.

"It's not their fault; it's because they have invested and fallen in love with a person (who) believe have a right to control them through physical, emotional and spiritual abuse," Iannce-Spencer said. "The ultimate control is to take someone's life."

"When you have been humiliated, degraded, you lose your sense of worth and sense of self. It's hard to see what is true," she said.


Tam "Danny" Lam: Neighbors say he was worried about his wife leaving him

Victims also leave in fear. "When people are abused, they are silenced," Iannce-Spencer said.

Nanci Kreidman, executive director of Honolulu's Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline, said domestic violence is a "crisis" that occurs every day.

The public needs to pay attention to it, not only when there is a fatality, she said.

Another domestic violence case occurred two weeks ago when a Molokai man was charged in his girlfriend's death.

Olakalani Mollena, 22, of Molokai died from a "blunt force injury to her head."

Her boyfriend, Manden Kamai, 24, was charged with manslaughter and abuse of a household member.

On the evening of May 28, police responded to a fight between Mollena and Kamai at Hotel Molokai. She was found lying on the shoulder of a nearby road.

Mollena was taken to Molokai General Hospital and later flown to the Queen's Medical Center, where she died.

Domestic Violence Clearinghouse & Legal Hotline

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