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Concord Monitor March 23, 2023
The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned criminal convictions Thursday of former State Senator Jeffrey Woodburn who was charged with domestic assault-related crimes in 2018 after a series of disputes with his then-girlfriend.
The Supreme Court concluded that the court did fail to provide appropriate instruction to the jury and reversed the convictions of domestic violence and simple assault but affirmed the two counts of criminal mischief and remanded the case for a new trial.
“It’s disappointing that these convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court on a legal technicality; however, other convictions in this case still stand and Mr. Woodburn will be going to jail for his crimes,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence in a public statement. “This decision should not in any way discourage victims of domestic violence from coming forward and reporting abuse.”
WMUR February 20, 2023
The Department of Defense said sexual assault and sexual harassment are persistent challenges across all military services. The agency said it's actively working to create solutions to address the problem, but advocates for sex assault survivors said it may not be enough.
Looking at the military as a whole, Department of Defense numbers show that reports of sexual assault increased by 13% from 2020 to 2021. It estimates that more than 35,000 servicemembers experienced sexual assault in fiscal year 2021, 19,000 women and 16,000 men.
"It can certainly be harder for victims who are part of a closed system, maybe a university, the military, place of employment, where they are not given the resources they need," said Lyn Schollett, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "So, crisis centers stand by, ready to provide those resources."
Manchester Ink Link December 22, 2022
New Hampshire has made strides recognizing and being proactive about domestic violence homicide, but there is more work to be done, particularly in collecting data that will clarify the nature of domestic homicide in the state, an advocate says.
“Although New Hampshire has an overall low homicide rate, it continues to be concerning that the majority of homicides in the state are domestic violence related,” Alyssa Dandrea, community relations specialist at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence said. “All domestic violence homicides are avoidable.”
WMUR December 12, 2022
A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, would require U.S. ports of entry to provide resources to victims of human trafficking. [It} would require that the hotline, 888-373-7888, be displayed in airports, rail stations and bus depots. The number would also be required to be displayed in restrooms of every plane, bus and train.
According to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, from 2017 to 2021, victim advocates assisted more than 370 human trafficking victims. Ages of the victims ranged from 6 to 60.
"And unfortunately, we see both labor and sex trafficking across the state," said Pamela Keilig, of the Coalition.
"[The hotline is] a critical tool for victims and community members who can help intervene in cases where human trafficking may be occurring," Keilig said.
Concord Monitor October 22, 2022
“Our biggest role is continuing to make sure that victims and survivors...are being represented and [to hold] perpetrators accountable,” said Pamela Keilig, a public policy specialist at the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“[We have to] make sure that our efforts across the state are up to date, relevant and victim-centered so that we aren’t punishing victims for crimes that they didn’t commit because they are trafficked.”
Nh Faces Overlap of crime, mental illness: Jail Super Says 'they don't belong in concrete'
Union Leader October 22, 2022
Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said domestic violence, the leading cause of homicide in the state, is a choice.
"While mental illness can exacerbate violence issues, it does not cause violence, and the abusers still have control over their actions", Sexton said.
InDepth NH October 13, 2022
Some members of New Hampshire's press corps were invited to Thursday's special event at the state prison in Concord, a play featuring Kyle Buffum, the man convicted of trying to have a woman murdered in a brutal attack.
Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs at the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said this type of production featuring a man convicted in masterminding a violent attack is a nightmare for survivors.
“We question the need to invite the media to cover a play being put on by state prisoners. We also question why a play that includes elements of murder and strangulation is being performed as a form of entertainment in a facility where many are being housed for those exact crimes,” Grady Sexton said. “This is anything but entertaining for victims; in fact, this is their worst nightmare. Seeing the face and name of their perpetrator in the news can significantly set a victim back in their healing process. A victim of an attempted murder should never have to wake up to this egregious headline, and neither should members of a community who were shook by these heinous acts of violence.”
Grafton County officials sued in federal court over jail guard's alleged sexual assault of inmates
WMUR September 15, 2022
Victim advocates said the case underscores the responsibility of people in positions of power and the vulnerability of those they are supposed to protect.
"Victims face so many barriers in reporting in any kind of case, but when the individual who has committed the offense is a person in a position of trust or authority, it can be even more difficult," said Lyn Schollett, executive director of the Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Schollett called the vulnerability of the alleged victims unique.
"People who are incarcerated have a lot less autonomy anyway and often fear that the system that they report to won't believe them because of their own past, and that's wrong," she said.
Department of Justice issues new guidance on state firearms law, seeking to clear the record
New Hampshire Bulletin September 12, 2022
The new guidance was applauded by the state's Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“As the Attorney General’s Office has consistently said throughout the legislative process, this law will have no impact on the ability of law enforcement officers in New Hampshire to remove firearms from those who are legally prohibited from possessing or purchasing them, including those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence,” Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the coalition, said in a statement Wednesday. “Additionally, this law will not have an impact on survivors who seek domestic violence protective orders. With 50 percent of all homicides in New Hampshire related to domestic violence, it is critical that laws surrounding this crime remain effective ways to prevent future violence.”
Laconia Daily Sun June 27, 2022
NHTrust has proudly contributed $1,000 to support the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence as part of a matching funds challenge initiated by Eulalie Paris, NHTrust SVP Operations, Partnerships & Client Experience. NHCADSV — the umbrella organization for the state’s 12 community-based crisis centers — is committed to creating safe and just communities through advocacy, prevention and empowerment of anyone affected by sexual violence, domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking. The challenge event, which Paris has spearheaded for years to benefit NHCADSV, is a weekend spring Jay Peak ski trip. For every booking, there is a donation allocated to NHCADSV. This year, NHTrust pledged to match that donation up to $1,000.
“We are so grateful for supporters like Eulalie whose commitment and dedication to the Coalition span over a decade,” noted Lyn Schollett, executive director of NHCADSV. “We are also deeply appreciative of NHTrust, who as an employer, both honors the important volunteer work of their employees, and in so doing, speaks volumes about their own commitment to making New Hampshire safer for everyone. This is a wonderful partnership.”