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New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence

The Governor's Commission on Domestic Violence was created in 1993, and in 1998 it was expanded to include the issue of sexual violence. The Commission represents all branches of government and those agencies and individuals who work with victims and perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence. The mission of the Governor's Commission is to develop and implement programs to reduce the level and seriousness of domestic and sexual violence in New Hampshire, and to increase awareness among the public, governmental and private agencies and the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government of the causes, effects and magnitude of domestic and sexual violence. The Commission is composed of eight Committees, each focusing on separate goals:

Batterer Accountability Committee – The Batterer Accountability Committee published the Batterer's Intervention Standards of Practice Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol for batterer providers in February 2002. Since that time, the Committee has conducted trainings for providers and other stakeholders of batterer intervention services on the elements of the Standards of Practice, on the philosophy and operation of batterer's intervention services, on cultural competency, and on the importance of batterer intervention programs addressing the impact of domestic violence on children. The Committee surveyed all the known providers in the State to determine the status of compliance with the standards and what the current training and technical assistance needs are of those programs. Most recently, the Committee has applied for funding to support the monitoring of batterer intervention programs (BIPs) and to offer training and technical assistance to both BIPs and other stakeholders.

Violence Against Women Campus Consortium Committee – The Committee supports and advises a statewide consortium of New Hampshire colleges and universities in order to reduce violence against women on campus. The Committee and the Consortium create a forum where New Hampshire postsecondary institutions can develop and implement model strategies to reduce violence against women on their respective campuses, including but not limited to a campus sexual assault policy, a campus protocol for responding to reported sexual assaults, a coordinated victim services delivery system utilizing campus and/or community based resources, a campus plan to prevent sexual assault and a plan to provide student, faculty and staff training.

Conference And Training Committee – The Committee, in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office, coordinates and sponsors the annual statewide two-day professional conference on the issues of domestic and sexual violence and stalking. Approximately 400 participants attend this advanced, multidisciplinary conference with both national and local experts presenting on a wide range of topics. In addition the Committee sponsors day-long trainings, and regional trainings to introduce the various protocols.

Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee – The Committee's two primary purposes are to identify and recommend systemic changes within all organizations and agencies that work with domestic violence victims, offenders and families to improve the identification of risk factors and coordination of services for victims, and to continue educating and motivating the public to find solutions to end domestic violence. The Committee's work includes a comprehensive plan of accountability through annual recommendations and reports. Several dozen recommendations have been advanced by the Committee, and positively received by the various departments, agencies and organizations to which they were addressed.

Protocol Committee – The Committee has developed multidisciplinary protocols on standardizing the handling of domestic and sexual violence and stalking cases among all the disciplines that work with these issues. Protocols that have been developed include one for prosecution, law enforcement, medical, mental health, probation and parole, the courts, EMS, home health care providers, faith based, and employee assistance programs. Each protocol is designed to enhance and improve systemic responses to these issues. The Committee recently completed a Stalking Protocol for Law Enforcement Response and a 5th Edition of the Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Protocol.

Public Education Committee – The Committee has produced monographs on domestic violence and sexual assault, which provide the public with a sense of how prevalent these crimes are and the variety of individuals they impact. The Committee produced the Reach Out NH media campaign about teen dating violence, resulting in the creation of television and radio public service announcements, a Web site, posters and an Educators Guide to Teen Dating Violence Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol, which was distributed to middle and high schools statewide. In addition, it developed the Sexual Assault Media Campaign, a two-year statewide public awareness campaign to educate the public on the prevalence of sexual assault and what all of us can do to help end sexual violence. The Committee developed an Interpersonal Violence Resource Guide for New Hampshire Media Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol, which addresses issues of violent crime and promotes educating the public while avoiding causing secondary harm to victims and families. Currently, the Committee is working on a Bystander campaign that will be distributed statewide.

Research Committee – The Committee serves as both a resource to other committees in terms of gathering and assessing data on issues related to domestic and sexual violence, and working on developing data and information that informs the work of the Commission. The Committee contracted with an evaluation team who collected qualitative and quantitative data, and assessed the data to identify strengths and weaknesses in services to victims and identified needs and barriers regarding the current status of services available to victims of domestic and sexual violence. The Committee also surveyed law enforcement providers to determine knowledge and use of the Governor's Commission Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Protocols, and is currently conducting a study of the criminal justice system's response to adult sexual assault.

Supervised Visitation Committee – The purpose of supervised visitation is to provide safety for victims of domestic violence and their children, while allowing non-residential parents parenting time with their children. The Committee has completed revising the Domestic Violence Protocols for Supervised Visitation in New Hampshire, providing best practice information about professional Supervised Visitation and Access Centers, Parent Aide Supervised Visitation Programs, and supervised visitation in the home of a family member or friend in situations where there has been domestic violence. The Committee recently developed a brochure titled Guidelines for Supervised Visitation: A Lay Person's Guide to Providing Safe Visitation Between Children and Parents in Domestic Violence Cases Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658