Domestic Violence

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire residents will now pay an additional $5 for a marriage license. That is after Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill Monday that will up the fee to $50 in order to help fund prevention programs for domestic violence across the state. 

Bridges Domestic and Sexual Violence Support provides free services to victims of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, harassment and stalking. Emily called Bridges when she and her daughter Brianna needed help.  

“A few years back I found out that my children were being sexually assaulted by my husband at the time.” Emily was stunned, “as a mom you feel so guilty, how could I not know, I brought this man into their lives, I thought he was a good person and now I find out all this.”

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Lawmakers are set to begin negotiations on a bill aimed at increasing funding for domestic violence programs.

Both chambers have agreed to increase funding, but they disagree on how to do it. The House supports raising the marriage license fee by $5, from $45 to $50, with the expected $45,000 in new annual revenue going toward a domestic violence grant program. The Senate's plan keeps that increase and establishes a mandatory fee of at least $50 for anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense.

 

Advocates for domestic violence victims say a one-day snapshot of services provided in New Hampshire point up the need for additional funding.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence this week released the results of its survey of 90 percent of domestic violence programs nationwide conducted on Sept. 10, 2014.

New Hampshire residents may have to pay five more dollars for marriage licenses after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would put the added revenue into domestic violence prevention programs across the state.

Currently residents pay $45 for a license, which hasn’t been increased in roughly 22 years.

Democrat Renny Cushing of Hampton says, despite the state making domestic violence a crime last year, New Hampshire ranks last in funding domestic violence prevention programs.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering competing bills to either increase or eliminate funding to help victims of domestic violence.

A marriage license currently costs $45, with $7 going to towns and cities and $38 to a domestic violence grant program.

The House Ways and Means Committee is holding a public hearing Monday on a bill that would increase the fee to $50 and send $43 to the grant program.

Meanwhile, the full House will be voting Wednesday on whether to send the $38 that now goes to the domestic violence program into in the general fund instead.

agrippa93 / Flickr

The city of Berlin, New Hampshire, and the federal government have settled claims that the city violated the Fair Housing Act by requiring landlords to evict tenants cited several times for ``disorderly action,'' including domestic violence incidents.   The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says the agreement is the result of a complaint it initiated accusing the city of discriminating against women.

NHPR Staff

A bill going before a House committee Thursday is raising concerns among law enforcement officials and advocates of domestic violence victims.

The bill would require officers to have "personal knowledge" that a crime has been committed to have probable cause to make an arrest without a warrant.

Amanda Grady Sexton with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says the new wording would limit officers arriving from being able to intervene.

According to the NCADV, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Betsy Kohl knows that statistic intimately; and with three daughters and four nieces, she also knows that one of them may be a victim of domestic or sexual violence. 

Mary Schwalm/AP

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords is coming to New Hampshire to discuss protecting women from gun violence.

Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011, has become a national advocate for gun reform and started the group Americans for Responsible Solutions.

On Wednesday in Concord, she'll join female legislators, law enforcement officers and the president of the Manchester YWCA, the site of a 2013 murder suicide.

The discussion will center on how to prevent domestic and gun violence through legislation.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives. While trying to overturn those numbers with its community-based violence prevention programs, Turning Points Network helps victims of domestic and sexual violence escape abusive relationships.

Lambeau Field / Flickr/CC

With several players charged with domestic violence, including a shocking video showing the abuse, many are questioning the league’s culture and policies. We’re looking into how widespread the problem is and what it might take to address what some are calling a systemic issue.

GUESTS:

www.shaheen.senate.gov

New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are among 16 female, bipartisan Senators who are urging the commissioner of the NFL to take a zero-tolerance stance toward domestic violence.

Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen signed the letter sent to Commissioner Roger Goodell, responding to the recent controversy over former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

In the letter, the Senators raise concerns about whether NFL officials knew the severity of Rice’s assault against his then-fiancée Janay Palmer.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is holding a bill-signing ceremony to formalize laws on domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse prevention.

Hassan is signing bills establishing a crime of domestic violence in the state and protecting household animals from violence.

She's also signing bills relative to grounds for termination of parental rights; on a commission to study sexual abuse prevention education in elementary and secondary schools; and on protecting juveniles from being prosecuted for being forced to perform illegal acts.

 

Jimmy Emerson, Flickr CC

New Hampshire lawmakers have passed legislation that includes household pets in orders designed to protect victims of domestic violence.

Wednesday's vote sent the bill to the governor. It expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal.

Supporters argue abusers sometimes take their anger out on a pet or attempt to intimidate victims by targeting a pet.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men in the United States are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. While trying to overturn those numbers with its community-based violence prevention programs, Turning Points Network helps victims of domestic and sexual violence escape abusive relationships.

The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill to include household pets in orders protecting victims of domestic violence. 

The bill expands the orders to include pets in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow judges to grant custody of any domestic pets or farm animals to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal. 

The bill passed Thursday on a voice vote without debate. It now goes to the House for review. 

NHPR / Michael Brindley

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

NHPR Staff

A bill that would make domestic violence a specific crime in New Hampshire is on its way to becoming law, after the House overwhelmingly passed it Wednesday.

Household pets could be protected in court orders protecting victims of domestic violence under a bill before the New Hampshire House.

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a bill aimed at protecting pets from harm in cases involving stalking and domestic violence. The bill would allow the court to grant custody of the pet to the victim and issue an order barring the abuser from harming or disposing of the animal.

Supporters argue abusers sometimes take their anger out on a pet or attempt to intimidate victims by targeting a pet.

agrippa93 / Flickr

This week, the New Hampshire House narrowly passed a bill that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters with Section 8 vouchers and victims of domestic violence.

After the House initially tabled the bill last week, lawmakers amended it to more tightly define victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. They now must have a current, final protective order.

The bill goes to the Senate next where it faces a tougher debate. 

Redjar / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would establish a separate crime of domestic violence.

This bill wouldn’t change any existing laws but would groups them together in  new section of the criminal statutes.

According to backers like, Earl Sweeney, the state’s Assistant Safety Commissioner, such a re-codification could save lives.

“This is very important bill. The majority of murders that occur in the state every year are the result of a domestic violence situation, many times something that’s been festering for many many years.”

NH is one of just 15 states without that doesn’t consider domestic violence a specific crime.

This week, the legislature returns and hears new bills. Up before the Senate judiciary committee are a proposal to establish domestic violence as a separate crime and one requiring certain persons with mental illness to be barred from owning guns and placed on a federal registry. On Thursday, the House holds its first hearing on a bill to repeal the death penalty.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The man who killed his 9-year-old son and then himself during a supervised visit at the Manchester YWCA in August was not searched before entering the building.

The state Attorney General’s office released its final report on the incident on Thursday.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin says investigators interviewed employees who were working at the YWCA the day Muni Savyon killed his son Joshua.

Domestic violence programs in New Hampshire are turning away some of the people coming to them for help each year.  This follows a series of state and federal budget cuts.  

The Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire marks its 35th anniversary with an event tonight at Red River Theatres in Concord. On the program is a screening of The Invisible War, the Oscar-nominated documentary about sexual assault in the military that is now being used to educate members of the Armed Forces.  We spoke on this program to the film’s director about how sexual violence is tolerated – even expected in the military culture – and how rarely such offenses are prosecuted.  But the reality is that those experiences are not unique to the military… in a new study to be released by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence, the similarities between what happens here and in the military are made evident.  It is a sobering reminder that domestic and sexual violence crimes are an all too common occurrence, even in New Hampshire. joining us today to discuss their roles in educating the public about domestic violence are two women who are on the front lines.

Lawrence Jackson / whitehouse.gov via Wikimedia COmmons

Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) like to point out that since its passage in 1994, incidents of domestic violence are down by more than 50% nationwide.

But they also say this isn’t about stats, this is about people like Carrie Ann, who requested that her last name not be used.

"The abuse that I encountered was physical, mental, and sexual," she says. "It was constant, day-in-day out. By the end, I was virtually a prisoner. I wasn’t allowed to control my own finances. I couldn’t leave without fear that something truly horrific was going to happen."

NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been weeks since Superstorm Sandy came ashore in New Jersey. Still, thousands remain displaced or without power. Touring damaged areas of New York City last week, President Obama said one thing of the ongoing recovery that’s hard to dispute: “It’s not going to be easy.”

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