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Domestic Violence in NH: One Day, 235 Calls for Help

January 31, 2008

Concord, NH – On a typical day in New Hampshire, 235 people seek help from a crisis center because of domestic violence, and some are turned away because of shortages of money and staff. That's the word from a new study by the National Network to End Domestic Violence that counted calls for help across the country on a single day last September. Grace Mattern at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says each unfilled request is a missed opportunity to get a victim out of danger.

"In New Hampshire alone, there were 19 unmet requests for service. That's somebody who's ready to be taking the next step, and we can't provide what she needs because we just don't have the resources."

Congress cut funds in this year's budget for some victim services programs. But Mattern notes that if the money is not restored in next year's federal spending plan, some New Hampshire crisis centers could be forced to close. She believes the numbers prove that domestic violence services are the wrong place to trim the budget.

"We had over 200 calls in a single 24-hour period in New Hampshire, so that shows the need for the services provided by local crisis centers is really great."

The full report, "National Census of Domestic Violence Services," is online at www.nnedv.org

John Robinson/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NH