NH News
11:31 am
Tue May 6, 2014

As Manchester Visitation Program Ends, Families May End Up On Wait Lists

The vigil outside the Manchester YWCA in August, days after murder-suicide carried out by Muni Savyon on Aug. 11. Savyon killed his 9-year-old Joshua during a supervised visit, then killed himself.
The vigil outside the Manchester YWCA in August, days after murder-suicide carried out by Muni Savyon on Aug. 11. Savyon killed his 9-year-old Joshua during a supervised visit, then killed himself.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

The Manchester YWCA is ending its supervised visitation program, as of this weekend.

In a letter posted on the YWCA’s website, President/CEO Monica Zulauf said ending the program wasn’t an easy decision.

The roughly 25 families who use the visitation center were notified last weekend that the program would be ending.

Because visitation centers are in such short supply in New Hampshire, Monica Zulauf fears those families are likely to end up on waiting lists.

“And it can take months to move up the waiting list. And so for some families, it will be a lengthy period of time before they see their children.”

In response to last summer’s shooting, Zulauf says the YWCA has been spending $500 a weekend for security.

And with their federal funding set to decline later this year, she says they couldn’t keep the visitations going simply wasn’t financially possible.

While supervised visits are being suspended, Zulauf says the YWCA will continue to host monitored child exchanges.

It was during a supervised visit at the YWCA last summer when Muni Savyon shot and killed his 9-year-old Joshua, and then killed himself.

A report by the attorney general’s office released in November found that the father was not searched with a metal detector before entering the building.

Officials say he had made threats against his son in the past.

Zulauf says the YWCA has spent the past several months exploring other funding sources to keep the program going.

The YWCA has been holding supervised visitations since 2004.

Lawmakers recently passed what’s been called “Joshua’s Law,” which creates a specific crime of domestic violence.

Governor Maggie Hassan is expected to sign the bill into law.