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On Wednesday, Nicole Kipphut testified on behalf of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence in front of a legislative committee led by State Sen. Rebecca Whitley, a Hopkinton Democrat.
With a unique perspective both as a survivor and an advocate, Kipphut told Whitley that closure doesn’t come with sentencing or prison time. For some, it doesn’t come at all, but preparing for a parole hearing where most often offenders are granted early release is an extensive, draining process that can retraumatize victims, she said.
“Victims do not necessarily feel closure at conviction, in fact, trauma is often ongoing and closure may occur at any point during the criminal justice process, from arrest to post-incarceration, and in some cases, closure may never happen,” Kipphut said. “There is no moment where victims automatically feel safe or healed.”
October 30, 2023
Nicole Kipphut of Concord says the Adult Parole Board system often comes up short for victims, which she has seen from both sides — as a survivor of child sexual abuse and a healer to hundreds of others who endured their own trauma.
Lyn Schollett, executive director of the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said victims never ask to be part of the parole process, but they have the right to be heard in a safe space.
“They are much better able to heal than when they are dismissed, not heard or not meaningfully engaged in the aftermath of the crime” Schollett said.
October 25, 2023