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News Release

For Immediate Release
June 11, 2013

Sandra Matheson, Director, Office of Victim/Witness Assistance
(603) 271-3671

The Attorney General's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and the Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence Present Annual Awards at the 2013 "Partnering for a Future Without Violence" Conference
Attorney General's Office Creates the Sandra Matheson Award

This year's winner of the Dr. Roger M. Fossum Award for "outstanding service on behalf of New Hampshire's children" is Audrey Knight who since 1986, has served as the Child Health Program Manager and NH SIDS Program Coordinator of the NH Division of Public Health Services in the NH Department of Health and Human Services. She is member of the NH Child Fatality Review Committee and also leads the NH Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Review Committee. In these roles, she is able to lead diverse groups of health, social service, law enforcement, victim advocacy and other professionals at these Fatality Review meetings, often facilitating discussions on difficult issues of child death situations.

A special Honorary Dr. Roger M. Fossum Award was presented posthumously to John J. McDermott, a longtime member of the Attorney General's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect who died on April 28, 2013. John, a retired Lieutenant at the Nashua Police Department was the former State Juvenile Justice Administrator where he served as leader and mentor to many juvenile parole and probation officers, and was most recently the Director of Operations at the Mount Prospect School for at risk youth. The award was accepted by his wife, Janice.

The Honorable William D. Paine II Award for "outstanding commitment to collaborative multidisciplinary efforts to reduce domestic and sexual violence in NH" was given to Dawn Reams who has served as the Executive Director of Bridges: Domestic & Sexual Violence Support in Nashua for over 17 years. Dawn is a true leader and dedicated advocate striving to improve services for victims of domestic and sexual violence and committed to enhancing prevention efforts to keep children and adults safe. She has been instrumental in building relationships and creating partnerships with area agencies to improve the multi-disciplinary response to victims. She was a founding member of the Child Advocacy Center in Nashua, the second program in the state.

Attorney General Foster presented, for the first time, the newly established Sandra Matheson Award to recognize "an unwavering commitment to seek justice for victims of crime in New Hampshire." The award was presented to Sandra Matheson, Director of the Attorney General's Office of Victim/Witness Assistance (OVWA), who will be retiring from that position at the end of the year. For 26 years, Sandra has dedicated herself to ensuring that victims of crime are treated with dignity and respect, and their voices are heard. She has been responsible for developing and overseeing the OVWA homicide victim service response program, which provides 24-hour direct services in all of the state's homicide cases, as well as working to standardize victim services statewide through the development of legislation, multidisciplinary protocols, policies and training.

Attorney General Foster said, "We congratulate this year's award winners and thank them for their dedication and commitment on behalf of all victims of crime in New Hampshire."

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