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Exposing Violence By Intimate Partners in NH

October 16, 2007

Concord, NH – A murder/suicide in Dover, a 75-year-old woman shot and killed in Grantham, and an 18-year-old victim of an overdose in Brentwood. The connection: each was among the 14 victims killed by intimate partners -- a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend -- in New Hampshire since 2005. Their stories are told in a report presented to Governor Lynch at a State House event today.

Grace Mattern, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, says the common thread doesn't run between the victims, but between the people who committed the crimes.

"It's not who the victim is, it's who the perpetrator is, and the fact that the perpetrator has chosen to use violence to reinforce his or her power and control in the relationship."

Mattern says at least one-third of New Hampshire women have been victims of a partner's violence at some point in their lives. The report is the Coalition's attempt to put a human face on the tragedy of these incidents, and to develop the resources and support that victims need to escape abusive relationships before violence and threats turn deadly. Society, says Mattern, must demand an end to the violence.

"It's not okay to have this level of violence and, as a society, we need to make sure that we support programs that are helping victims and holding batterers accountable."

John Robinson, Public News Service - NH