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New Hampshire Bulletin June 22, 2021
“It’s a really important principle that folks feel safe to come forward and report these kinds of crimes, whether it’s to access legal support or medical support to start their healing process,” said Pamela Keilig, a public policy specialist at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“No one should ever be afraid of arrest when reporting those types of crimes,” Keilig said. People react differently to sexual assault, but it can cause fear, isolation, numbness or shock, she said. She praised the measure as a way of removing additional barriers that could prevent a victim from coming forward.
WMUR June 21, 2021
“The victim advocacy community is pretty shattered. We’re heartbroken and we send our hearts out to her family, her friends, her colleagues and most importantly, to those victims that she served,” said Lyn Schollett from the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Feeney worked as a victim advocate in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. Those from the coalition said she brought passion and conviction to helping victims and witnesses of crimes.
“She stood with victims during the most trying and often the most foreign experience of their lives as they navigated the criminal justice process and she made sure that they felt empowered to raise their voices,” Schollett said.
Union Leader June 21, 2021
“Brigit was a pillar of strength and defender of dignity for so many families who lost loved ones under the worst circumstances in our state,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, who described Feeney as a dear friend to her and her family. “Losing her leaves a true void both in our hearts and in the victim advocacy community.
Union Leader June 17, 2021
All seven state laws governing child pornography, illegal sexual contact and similar crimes upon conviction are at least criminal misdemeanors that mean up to a year in jail, and most of them are felonies carrying even longer prison terms. If House and Senate negotiators had gone forward with that change, the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence would have urged Gov. Chris Sununu to veto it, according to Amanda Grady Sexton, the group’s director of public affairs.
“If it were to pass, a 65-year-old man who sends a nude picture of himself to an 11-year-old child could be charged with a violation level offense which, of course, is not a crime in New Hampshire,” Sexton said.
WMUR June 17, 2021
A House-Senate committee of conference decided Wednesday that more work is needed if there is to be a new state law addressing instances in which someone electronically sends unsolicited lewd images to another person.
The conference committee could not agree on a proposed amendment to House Bill 296. The bill, as it emerged from the state Senate in mid-May, was the subject of concern voiced by a leading advocate of victims of domestic violence.
That version of the bill created an unintended consequence of decriminalizing the sending of unsolicited lewd photos to another person, including minors, and required prosecutors to meet the high bar of establishing that the intent of the person sending the image was to harass the recipient, said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs of the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
New Hampshire Bulletin June 16, 2021
A central issue that advocates and legal experts homed in on was that House Bill 296 would have unintentionally reduced penalties associated with the crimes in question down to violations. Sending an unwanted intimate image is already a crime, per current law. But the bill would have had the unintended consequence of decriminalizing it and making it a violation instead.
For example, it would have decriminalized the act of a grown adult sending a sexually illicit picture to a child, which currently is a felony level offenses, said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.