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In light of the recent tragedy in Manchester, we extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and stand with the greater community as we all process this devastating loss to senseless violence.
Abusers demonstrate a pattern of violence that often escalates over time. Whether escalation is gradual or sudden, abusers will test boundaries and cross new lines in an attempt tighten their grip of power and control over the victim. Failure to take domestic violence seriously, and respond swiftly when red flags are raised, emboldens perpetrators to continue the abuse – or even take it to new heights of dangerousness. When someone violates a protective order, defies conditions of a sentence, or continues to perpetrate domestic violence even after engaging with the criminal justice system, they’ve demonstrated a clear disregard for consequences - which is a textbook indicator of lethality.
The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when they decide to leave the abuser. Therefore, when victims report a crime or seek a relief in a protective order, we must do all we can to keep them safe. Domestic violence offenders pose a lethal threat to the victim and to our community. They must be held accountable to ensure that tragedies, like this one, do not happen.
Far too often, headlines will feature batterers with an extensive history of domestic violence entering the system only to be released to reoffend time and time again, with little to no accountability. This leaves victims without protection and with little faith in the system that they trusted to uphold justice.
Acts such of strangulation and the violation of a protective order are leading indicators of a potential homicide. Domestic violence cannot be overlooked, minimized, or ignored – the consequences are far too great. We must ensure that those working in systems that victims interact with are fully aware of patterns of escalation in domestic violence and a have a complete understanding of the threat that abusers pose to victims and their children.
“Batterers who are capable of committing the ultimate act of domestic violence often demonstrate a documented pattern of abuse and early intervention in these cases is critical. We have the ability to end domestic violence homicides in NH, but we must first believe survivors, prioritize services, and hold offenders accountable.” – Amanda Grady Sexton, Director of Public Affairs, NHCADSV.
To our fellow Granite Staters: you are not alone in responding to this heinous crime and heartbreaking loss. Confidential advocates are available across the state an NH’s 13 crisis centers. To speak with an advocate in your community, please call the statewide hotline at 1-866-644-3574.
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is a statewide network of 13 independent member programs committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking, through direct services to victims, community education, and public policy advocacy. The NHCADSV and its 13 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation. For more information visit www.nhcadsv.org.