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STALKING VICTIMS RESPOND OVERWHELMINGLY TO CBS FILM: 'I CAN MAKE YOU LOVE ME: THE STORY OF LAURA BLACK'

 NEW YORK, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Victim Center today announced that it was deluged with more than 5,000 telephone calls from stalking victims throughout the United States and parts of Canada following the airing of a network television film on the subject of stalking.
 Calls to 800-FYI-CALL were made in the first 36 hours following CBS's airing of "I Can Make You Love Me: The Story of Laura Black" on Tuesday, Feb. 9. The toll-free number flashed on television screens as a public service announcement at the conclusion of the film starring Brooke Shields and Richard Thomas.
 "The response was overwhelming," said Christine Edmunds of the National Victim Center. "It was, without question, the single greatest public awareness outreach the National Victim Center has ever accomplished. More than 70 percent of the callers were victims currently being stalked. Victims ranged in age from the early teens to the late seventies without regard to race or sex."
 Edmunds noted that the film had a 26 percent share of the national audience. Based on a real-life experience, the drama recounted the experience of Laura Black who was persistently stalked by a former co- worker. The pursuit of the young woman ended in the loss of life and injury when the heavily armed stalker reappeared at his former place of employment and started shooting indiscriminately. Black was injured during the shooting but managed to escape. The stalker was arrested and is serving a life sentence.
 Stalking victims who called the toll-free number in the hours following conclusion of the film were assisted in several ways. More than 500 of the callers were in a crisis and referred to 911 emergency numbers in the areas in which they lived. Other callers asked for advice, including a number who were hiding in hotels, away from their homes. In addition, volunteers who handled the incoming calls heard stories of fear, confusion and frustration at the lack of criminal justice protection and services.
 All callers are receiving an extensive package of information about stalking, including a state-by-state overview of anti-stalking laws, security tips, emergency measures and referrals to local victims assistance programs.
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Maureen Connelly of Maiorana/Connelly Communications, 212-751-3838, for the National Victim Center/


CO: National Victim Center; CBS-TV ST: New York IN: ENT SU:

MJ-MK -- NY026 -- 7230 02/17/93 10:40 EST
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