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Senate Finance Committee Votes to Restore Funding for Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Services
Concord, NH – Tuesday, May 23rd: The Senate Finance Committee voted today to include a funding restoration for the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence’s 13 rape and domestic violence crisis centers. The Coalition is a statewide network of 13 independent member programs that provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and stalking. In a recent two-year period, the Coalition’s 13 member programs served 24,926 victims of abuse in the State of New Hampshire. The funding for these centers was nearly eliminated in 2011 and has never been restored until today.
This funding pays for core services such as: emergency shelters, services for children who have been exposed to violence, 24-hour hotlines, and allows domestic violence advocates to accompany victims to courts and hospitals. The NH Department of Health and Human Services has contracted with the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual violence to manage this funding since its inception. Each crisis center routinely reports to DHHS about how these funds are used.
As a result of the cuts sustained over the past several years, crisis centers were forced to turn away 3,724 adults and 1,204 children from emergency shelter due to lack of capacity in the last budget cycle. Sadly, we know that many of these victims were forced to sleep in their cars, experienced homelessness, or ultimately were forced to return to their abusers.
Domestic violence is a very real problem in NH: According to the NH Department of Justice, domestic violence homicides represented 62% of all the homicides in the State of New Hampshire -- 33% of these victims were children under the age of nine. This funding can quite literally mean the difference between life or death for these victims and their children. Prioritizing the network of domestic violence service centers across the state will save lives and money.
“The State has never been spending more on the effects of trauma in our society: incarceration costs, addiction treatment, and mental health services are some of the most expensive line items for NH taxpayers. Domestic violence and rape crisis centers are uniquely positioned to intervene in their communities, break the cycle of abuse, and prevent future violence. By prioritizing funding for these community-based services, the Senate is supporting efforts to not only treat these problems, but ultimately eliminate them. Today’s vote is a strong investment in public safety and will save the State millions of dollars in the costs associated with these crimes,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, Director of Public Affairs at the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
About the Coalition
NHCADSV is a statewide network of 13 independent member programs committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking, through direct services to victims, community education, and public policy advocacy. The NHCADSV and its 13 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation. For more information visit www.nhcadsv.org.