Victim’s sister: Don’t ignore domestic abuse

Denise Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson, reflects on her sister’s life during an address to a crowd about domestic abuse Thursday evening at the Avalon Theatre.

Denise Brown didn’t have a violent childhood.

Neither did her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Violence was brought into their lives as adults, when Denise Brown said she witnessed incidents of domestic abuse between her sister and her sister’s husband, O.J. Simpson. After Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder in 1994, Brown learned more about domestic violence and made it her life’s cause to spread the message that it’s not OK.

Brown spoke Thursday night at the Avalon Theatre about domestic violence and encouraged those in the audience to call 911 if they see or hear it happen. Brown said she didn’t tell police about her sister’s situation because she didn’t know much about domestic violence at the time and only learned later from Nicole’s diaries that the abuse she saw a couple times was part of a pattern.

Brown praised local law enforcement and programs for domestic violence victims, such as Latimer House, and encouraged audience members to donate to the safe haven for abused women and children.

“I’d love to duplicate what you have here,” Brown said.

The Avalon’s lower level was about two-thirds full Thursday night, with women making up more than half of the audience. Grand Junction resident Susan O’Neil-Carmon, a survivor of domestic abuse, said she liked that Brown said there is life after domestic violence for those who choose to leave before it’s too late.

“There is hope, there is help, and when you share, the best things can happen,” she said.


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