In New Hampshire 34.7% of women and 35.4% of men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
These are scary statistics but there are many resources in our area to help those in need. There are 12 domestic and sexual violence crisis centers in NH that are available 24/7.
Unfortunately, many occurrences of domestic violence also occur in households where minor children live. Acts of domestic violence can put a family in jeopardy and have the potential to cause serious and life-changing injuries.
If are a victim of domestic abuse, it is imperative that you first seek safety for yourself and loved ones, then contact an experienced attorney to help you navigate your case. We also acknowledge that many people do not wish to be called “victims” as it gives the perpetrator power. We respect each individual’s choice in this and will use the term they feel comfortable with.
New Hampshire has some excellent resources available to help victims of domestic violence including:
Bridges Domestic and Sexual Violence Support
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 24-Hour Hotline 1-866-644-3574
DHHS, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Voices Against Violence, 24-Hour Hotline 1-877-221-6176
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a general term used to describe the abuse that occurs inside of a family or intimate relationship. This abuse can be physical, emotional, financial, and/or psychological.
In New Hampshire, domestic violence occurs when a person commits one acts against a spouse, family or household member, or against an individual with whom the person has had an intimate relationship. A victim of domestic abuse may seek a protective order from the courts, and a defendant who violates the terms of a protective order may be charged with a crime for violating the order.
New Hampshire defines domestic violence as the commission or attempted commission of one of the following offenses against a victim who is a family or household member or a current or former sexual or intimate partner of the offender:
- assault or reckless conduct
- criminal threatening
- sexual assault
- interference with freedom
- destruction of property
- unauthorized entry, and
Examples of domestic violence can include:
- Hitting, scratching, punching, biting, and other physical attacks,
- Issuing threats,
- Controlling finances,
- Name-calling, belittling, or playing mind games,
- Stalking, and
- Forcing sexual activity.
Restraining Orders/ Emergency Protective Orders
Victims who have accused a family member of domestic violence can ask for the court to issue a domestic violence restraining order. These restraining orders are a way to protect victims from any further abuse while they pursue more permanent legal action. When a restraining order is issued, the defendant will be prohibited from contacting or going near their victim(s).
Abusive relationships can cause severe and debilitating physical, emotional, and psychological injuries. While leaving your abusive relationship may be one of the most difficult decisions you make, it will also be among the most important.
This is especially true if children are affected (directly or indirectly) by this abuse. When you make the decision to leave your relationship it is important to have a safety plan. This includes having documented evidence of your abuse, a place you can go to be safe, and an understanding of the road ahead.
Seeking Legal Counsel
Domestic violence has the potential to ruin families, cause serious physical injuries, and impose irreversible psychological harms. If you have been the victim of domestic violence it is important to understand the legal options available to you.
The experienced family lawyers at Morneau Law understand how serious domestic violence is and can help navigate the legal system to make sure you are protected. Call our us today to schedule a consultation. We will review your situation, explain your rights, and provide some preliminary insight into your case.