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Shaheen, Hassan Push to Ensure Survivors of Domestic Violence Can Access Their Economic Impact Payment
Press Release June 23, 2020
“The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the lives of survivors of domestic and sexual violence, including their ability to seek help and meet their basic needs. The pandemic has also provided new ways for abusive partners to leverage power and control, including the withholding of federal stimulus checks,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, Director of Public Affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. “We are grateful for the support of Senator Shaheen and other members of Congress for advocating for the needs of survivors, and addressing the very real experiences of financial abuse that prevent survivors from acquiring, using or maintaining financial resources.”
Concord Monitor June 17, 2020
One of the many bills passed by the State Senate this week requires all school employees to be trained on preventing child sex abuse. Another bill would eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual assault. The pair were included in larger packages of bills related to safety in schools and revisions to the state sexual assault laws.
“Numerous senators remarked that they heard from an extraordinary amount of survivors who contacted the senate urging them to pass this critical legislation that will ensure protections for victims of sexual assault,” said Grady Sexton in an interview Wednesday. “We will be working closely with the house to earn their support for these measures.”
Concord Monitor May 27, 2020
The coalition’s Director of Public Affairs Amanda Grady Sexton said stay-at-home orders designed to minimize viral transmission have meant that many victims are trapped with their abusers for longer periods of time and have fewer opportunities to seek help. She said the alternative filing method will ensure victims who face even greater barriers due to the pandemic can still take steps to seek safety for themselves and their children.
Concord Monitor May 22. 2020
Linda Douglas, the coalition’s trauma-informed services specialist, said the pandemic has severely limited victims’ access to critical support systems that are an integral part of their healing journey. Support groups for people who’ve experienced domestic violence or substance abuse have been canceled altogether or moved to online formats. Additionally, medical professionals, including therapists, are utilizing telehealth services in an effort to limit in-person contact, but not all victims are comfortable with remote care or can access it, she said.
Seacoast Online May 7, 2020
Janet Carroll, RN, is the clinical coordinator for Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s sexual assault nurse examiner program (SANE). Made up of a group of specially trained nurses, the mission of SANE is to deliver compassionate, comprehensive, ethical, culturally sensitive, expert medical forensic care and treatment to patients who have experienced violence such as sexual assault, intimate partner violence and elder or vulnerable adult abuse. In addition, SANE provides specialized care to victims of several other kinds of traumatic violence such as human trafficking, strangulation, gunshot wounds or stab wounds.
Union Leader May 2, 2020
Amanda Grady Sexton, from the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said the pandemic is creating more opportunities for abusers to isolate and gain access to their victims. Some women have had to move back in with their abusers for economic reasons, she said.
“Poverty and alcoholism and depression do not cause domestic violence, but all of those factors almost always make existing abuse worse,” she said. “The risk of violence may certainly increase when abusers consume alcohol and other drugs, and victims’ injuries can be more severe.”
Eagle Tribune April 22, 2020
“The pandemic itself might not be creating more abuse, but is creating more opportunity for abuse," said Pamela Keilig, public policy specialist for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
She explained that current circumstances might give abusers the ability to exert more power, especially in decision-making.
The worst outcome, she said, would be that people stop reaching out for help, especially, she said, if they don't realize it's still available.
“Even though we are isolating we don’t have to be alone," Keilig said.
Union Leader Apr 22, 2020
When Sullivan County Department of Corrections Superintendent David Berry heard about a program that lets the victims of violent crimes track their assailants, he knew he wanted to bring it to New Hampshire.
“I thought it was a great idea,” he said.
VINE is a real-time notification program that not only allows the tracking of assailants, but when they are released from custody.
“If you were the victim of a domestic assault, or sexual assault, you would want to know,” Berry said. “It’s somewhat empowering.”
April 15, 2020
Today, Governor Chris Sununu sent a letter to Attorney General Gordon MacDonald approving a grant application for $600,000 submitted by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, which ensures the availability of resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
"This emergency fund will ensure that domestic and sexual violence centers have the resources needed to provide critical services to victims of domestic violence," said Governor Chris Sununu. "It will begin by providing funding to assist directly with victims' needs to cover groceries, rent, health products, educational materials for children. It will also create emergency shelter funding for hotel stays, as well as expenses for crisis center operations."
Union Leader April 13, 2020
A victim advocacy organization said a judge could have ordered Manning into court on a contempt hearing and possibly ordered him jailed if the case was still open. And state law requires police to make an arrest when someone violates a protective order, said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Sexton said research shows that people who violate protective orders are the most likely to commit homicide in a domestic violence situation.
“Now more than ever, we really need to be taking these issues seriously,” Sexton said. “These are the most dangerous crimes in New Hampshire, and they account for a majority of homicides.”
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