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Foster's Daily Democrat April 7, 2021
It’s more common than not for victims and survivors of abuse to wait years or decades to report allegations, particularly cases involving the sexual abuse of a child, according to Velardi and Amanda Grady Sexton, the director of public affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Known as delayed disclosure, victims and survivors often don’t report these crimes until years later when they’re adults and working to understand how the abuse has impacted them, Grady Sexton and Velardi said.
More than 200 more join lawsuit alleging abuse as children while living in state-run detention center
Sentinel Source March 5, 2021
“It’s unconscionable to think that dozens of boys and girls experienced horrific sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whose sole duty was to protect and care for them,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. “Children ordered to a secure institution by the juvenile legal system are among the most vulnerable in New Hampshire, and it’s horrifying to think that staff viewed them as easy targets for victimization.”
Seacoast Online March 4, 2021
Male survivors face unique hurdles in disclosing abuse and seeking medical assistance and emotional support. Survivors of sexual assault often blame themselves for the attack, and men, in particular, may feel that they should have been strong enough to defend themselves against the assault.
The Patch March 4, 2021
Alyssa Dandrea, a community relations specialist at the coalition, said sexual offenders often seek positions of authority to gain access to children and also sign onto jobs or volunteer work that can elevate their credibility within their communities and, therefore, gain them the trust of peers. They do this, she said, with the hope that communities will doubt any victim who comes forward to report abuse.
USA Today Feb. 18, 2021
“It was really amazing to see just how many student leaders were really dedicated to improving the climate on college campuses,” said Pamela Keilig, public policy specialist for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“This legislation was so significant because these best practices had never been codified into (state) law before,” said Keilig. “The guidelines are often subject to change based on the federal rules and regulations.”
The Trace January 26, 2021
Amanda Grady Sexton, a spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said protective orders are only granted in truly serious cases in New Hampshire. Because there is already a high bar to get an order, she said it would make sense to include a gun restriction automatically. Petitioners need to prove that they have been the victim of a crime, that the abuse is current, and that they are in immediate danger of further abuse. “In light of all that, I’m not sure why a judge wouldn’t check that box to have firearms relinquished,” Grady Sexton said.
Union Leader January 9, 2021
Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, said the prospect of abusers getting out is wreaking havoc in the lives of survivors.
"In one case, a survivor was forced to leave the safety of her own home and to seek confidential housing in order to protect herself from a dangerous abuser who petitioned for release due to health concerns around COVID. No victim or family member should ever be displaced because the system decided their offender's safety was more important than theirs," she said.
US News & World Report December 30, 2020
New Hampshire will make multiple changes to state laws regarding sexual assault. Starting Jan. 1, the definition of sexual assault will be expanded to include any sexual contact between school employees and students between the ages of 13 and 18. Previously, such contact could be considered consensual and not a crime if the student was 16 or 17. Other legislation taking effect in mid-January increases protections for sexual assault victims and requires colleges and universities to adopt sexual misconduct policies. The bill requires colleges to provide free access to medical and legal support services, anti-retaliation protections, confidential advising services, data on sexual violence, and prevention and response training.
Foster's Daily Democrat October 21, 2020
The executive director of the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence is “deeply concerned” about the recent indictment of a former Dover police officer.
A Strafford County grand jury indicted Ronald “R.J.” Letendre, 47, of Rollinsford, for allegedly taking a portion of seized drugs during a police investigation in 2016.
NHCADSV Executive Director Lyn Schollett stated, “The recent indictment raises more questions about R.J. Letendre’s conduct during his time as a sworn police officer for the city of Dover.”
Union Leader October 19, 2020
Meanwhile, the head of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said St. Paul’s prioritizes its status over the well-being of its students.
“Students have continued to disclose that they have felt bullied and silenced by the school, the same conduct that Mr. Maher reports in his resignation letter has been inflicted upon him,” reads a statement issued by Lyn Schollett, executive director of the coalition. “The news of Mr. Maher’s resignation represents a betrayal to past and current students who believed in good faith that the school had its best interests at heart.”
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