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NH Business Review August 18, 2021
More than a year of crisis has created untold need in New Hampshire. The state’s nonprofits — many of them women-led — stepped in to help meet that need, all the while having to navigate the immense obstacles the pandemic posed. Here we spotlight the weighty and wondrous work of some of those women and their organizations.
Lyn Schollett of NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence
When stay-at-home orders were issued as the pandemic began to take hold, it had a profound impact on survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. “They were trapped at home with their abusers and increasingly isolated from services and people who could help them,” says Lyn Schollett, executive director of the Concord-based NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.
With a mission to create safe and just communities through advocacy, prevention and empowerment of anyone affected by domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as stalking and human trafficking, Schollett says the Coalition launched a statewide media campaign to reach survivors and worked collaboratively with their 12 crisis centers to quickly implement new online chat, text and video services. They also worked with courts to allow victims to file for restraining orders online and to make sure there was enough funding to place survivors fleeing abuse in hotels when shelters were full.
Schollett says the pandemic worsened stresses that victims already face — among them, economic hardship, the absence of school and childcare, and extreme isolation. “Through it all,” she says, “crisis center advocates continued to be innovative, scrappy, and completely focused on the well-being and safety of victims