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Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, applauded the ruling.
“Victims in New Hampshire are often subjected to unnecessary delays in the courtroom,” she said. “Defense attorneys should not be permitted to use continuances as a legal strategy to benefit their clients and delay justice. Victims are afforded rights under New Hampshire law and should not be subjected to these types of unnecessary and unfair delays. Judges must take victims’ rights into consideration and stop this unethical practice. Six years is far too long for any victim to wait for justice.”
February 24, 2024
Lyn Schollett, of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said there can be a lot of barriers to children coming forward to report assault, including their young age, which is why it often takes years for them to do so.
"It's critical that children know that if they come forward and describe a harmful touch, that they will be heard and that they will be believed," Schollett said. "And that's the most important thing that parents and guardians and caretakers can do for the children in our lives."
February 15, 2024
The bill heard in the House Judiciary Committee would establish regulations for when convicted criminals want the change their names.
"Under current law, you can murder someone and change your name. Why is this acceptable?" said Pamela Keilig, of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "This means that a name change is essentially equivalent to a clean slate for someone who does not want to be discoverable as a criminal."
More testimony came from a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by her counselor, who, she later learned, had an extensive criminal history.
This bill is supported by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence as well as New Hampshire State Police. An executive session on the bill is scheduled for Monday.
January 17, 2024
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has been working with the guard since earlier this year on training programs to address and prevent sexual violence. The coalition's director, Lyn Schollett, said she commends guard leadership for looking at its own shortcomings.
"When the military is willing to look at their own process and their response, it's more likely that victims will feel safe coming forward," Schollett said. "We would commend the Adj. General for requesting this review and we're really happy to see this report that has very strong and actionable recommendations."
December 8, 2023
One big change that has attracted major concern is the removal of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and stalking from a list of offenses that can subject an offender to be held without bail until he or she sees a judge.
“The Coalition does not take a position on this bill. However, to specifically exclude the crime of misdemeanor domestic violence assault from this proposal ignores the reality that domestic violence is the most dangerous crime in New Hampshire,” said Alyssa Dandrea, community relations specialist with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“The majority of homicides in our state are committed by domestic violence offenders, who escalate over time. The act of domestic violence is most commonly charged as a misdemeanor-level offense in our state, so most people charged with this highly lethal crime would continue to go before a bail commissioner, not a judge.”
According to legal advocates, few are charged with felony domestic violence and that means many of the misdemeanor offenses involve serious domestic assaults.
November 18, 2023
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
Emily Provencher, of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said there are some things parents should keep in mind.
"Students across the school, whether it was their photos or not, are going to feel the impact of the situation," Provencher said. "It is really important to make them aware of the 24/7 helpline that is available in the state of New Hampshire. That is not just for the victims in this situation, but also for the people who care about them."
September 23, 2023
Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public affairs for the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence said Tuesday such crimes are more prevalent than many people realize.
“Children are being exposed to pornography at much younger ages now and maybe don’t have the same framework for what is appropriate in a relationship and also they are taking riskier and riskier actions in terms of their behaviors,” she said.
Also, the proliferation of smart phones makes it is easier than ever to record people without their permission, she said.
“People are selling these images,” Sexton said. “There is an increased demand for these kinds of voyeuristic videos, and there is new technology and enhanced capability to capture people in places where they have an expectation of privacy.”
August 8, 2023
The state also said it has an interest in protecting victims of Covington's crime and in ensuring that anyone who might want to be in a relationship with him in the future has access to accurate information about him, something victim advocates agree with.
"Erasing an offender's name in essence erases a part of history and takes away an important piece of safety planning for victims and for communities," Lyn Schollett, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said. "The idea that a murderer can be granted a clean slate simply because they are ready to move on does not erase the impact of these horrific crimes."
August 3, 2023