NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
According to a recent White House factsheet, "One-in-every-four women experiences domestic violence during their lifetime and more than 20 million women in the U.S. have been victims of rape. Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year. The impact of abuse lingers for years, both for victims and their children."
In response to this national epidemic, in November 2010, the Departments Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Treasury and Labor and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced new initiatives to protect victims of abuse and provide resources to victims. The initiatives state that intervening early to reach children and young families experiencing domestic and sexual violence is a crucial element of the strategy to end violence against women. Without intervention, children who witness violence are at greater risk of developing behavioral problems, psychiatric disorders, experiencing school failure, and perpetrating violence against others. It goes on to state that "one in twelve adult women are abused during pregnancy and 25-50% of adolescent mothers experience domestic violence before, during, or just after pregnancy. Children born to abused mothers are 30% more likely to require intensive care upon birth. "
In New Hampshire in 2009, Crisis Centers served 12,758 victims. The AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP) members served 4,542 or 36% of these victims. Without AVAP, thousands of victims would not receive the critical services they need.