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The Berlin Sun June 6, 2022
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) has been instrumental in getting the Senate to allocate funding for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and Thursday she visited Coos County Family Health Service’s Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence Crisis Center in Berlin.
For an hour, the senator spoke with local advocates about the increased funding and asked what was working and what is needed.
Joi Smith, program director for the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, said with the cost of living increasing, advocates are having trouble helping survivors find a way to become self-sustaining. She said there is a shortage of housing and rental properties, forcing people to stay in shelters for extended periods of time because there is no real estate for them to move into that is within their budget.
New Hampshire Bulletin June 1, 2022
The hundreds of people alleging they were sexually and physically abused while held at the former Youth Development Center will be able to seek compensation from the state beginning Jan. 1.
Victim advocates reiterated their opposition to the bill last week, criticizing what they see as unacceptably low settlement caps. They said the legislation also fails to give victims sufficient time to file and are concerned that it excludes emotional and non-contact sexual abuse, such as being the subject of child abuse images.
Critics include the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“The state of New Hampshire had an opportunity to establish an unprecedented model settlement process that could have exemplified what it means to hold institutions accountable and demonstrate unwavering support for victims,” said coalition Executive Director Lyn Schollett in a statement. “However, what passed the House and Senate in the form of HB 1677 falls extremely short of living up to what has been promoted as a just system for victims.”
Manchester Ink Link May 29, 2022
Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed into law House Bill 1677, which creates a claims process for victims of abuse in the state-operated Youth Development Center, formerly known as the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center, located on River Road in Manchester,
Other groups that have been critical of the limited scope of HB1677 include NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and CHILD USA, a national children’s advocacy group.
Union Leader May 29, 2022
“I should never have put faith in the State to create a fair settlement process,” read the statement from survivor Dwayne Underwood, included in a letter sent to Sununu last Tuesday, May 24, by Lyn Schollett, executive director of the coalition.
The coalition, attorneys representing survivors, and other abuse-survivor advocacy groups had asked the state legislature to raise the caps on claims above the $1.5 million maximum set in the new law, to expand the definitions of abuse, and to lengthen the amount of time for survivors to file claims.