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Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence

For You:

  • Feeling afraid of your partner
  • Feeling you don't do anything right
  • Feeling embarrassed by your partner's behavior
  • Believe that you deserve what you're getting
  • Avoid topics out of fear of your partner
  • Feeling tied down
  • Feeling if you love your partner enough the relationship will get better
  • Crying a lot, depressed, unhappy


Does Your Partner:

  • Humiliate, criticize or yell at you or others
  • Blame you for their behavior
  • Threaten or harm you, your kids or pets
  • Force you to have sex
  • Act jealous and possessive
  • Keep you from seeing friends and/or family
  • Limit your ability to get a job, go to school, access money or necessities
  • Constantly check on you: call, text, etc.
  • Threaten to kill themselves if you leave
  • Abuse alcohol or other drugs
  • History of trouble with the law, fights, breaking/destroying property
  • Abuses other family members: parents, siblings, pets, etc.
  • Cheats or has lots of other partners
  • Accuses you of flirting with others
  • Ignores you when you're expressing your feelings, beliefs, or needs
  • Tells you how to dress/act


Mood swings For Your Friend:

  • Frequent injuries from accidents, in odd places, or injuries they can't explain
  • Suddenly misses work, school, or cancels plans
  • Receives frequent phone calls from their partner
  • Fear their partner, refer to partner's behavior
  • Lacks assertiveness or is very submissive
  • Isolated, hard to contact, doesn't contact you, other friend, or family
  • Insufficient resources: money, credit cards, transportation, etc.
  • Their partner calls your friend names and puts them down in front of others
  • Partner acts jealous when your friend talks to members of the opposite sex
  • You've seen their partner lose their temper or get violent when they are with others
  • Is always worried about their partner
  • Giving up things that used to be important to them
  • Weight, appearance, grades, etc changed dramatically
  • Changes in daily rituals
  • Stopped hobbies
  • Excessive amount of time in contact or with their partner


*Information from Red Flag Campaign; Safe Place

Sexual Abuse Abuser:

  • Extremely over protective
  • Overly interested in the Child's social or sexual life
  • Acts jealous of the child
  • Refers to the child in sexual ways
  • Unusual interest in the child or children in general
  • Has child-friendly toys, books, movies, etc, but has no children
  • Systematic and prolonged access to children
  • Finds a way to legitimize contact with children
  • Befriends children's parents to gain access Children:
  • Preoccupied with sex play
  • Sexually acts out toward other children, exposes genitals frequently
  • Unusual amount of masturbation
  • Unusual sexual behavior with inanimate objects, mimicking with dolls or toys
  • Withdrawn
  • Extreme changes in grades: A-Student to C,D,F Low-grade student to A's and B's
  • Aggression
  • Bed Wetting
  • Terror, phobias, unusual fears
  • Changes in appetite


Elder Abuse Physical/Personal signs:

  • Bruises, welts, cuts, scalp soreness, burns, bed sores
  • Injuries not in locations normally associated with a fall inside of limbs, throat, buttocks
  • Symptoms of over or under medication
  • Sprains, dislocation, bone injuries
  • Broken or missing eyeglasses, false teeth, hearing aids, etc.
  • Withdrawal
  • Looks to a caregiver before answering, doesn’t speak in their presence
  • Isolated
  • Self-blame
  • Provides implausible or inconsistent explanations - Fear


Environmental/Financial signs:

  • Strong odor of urine/feces
  • Lack of utilities
  • Spoiled food
  • Uncared for pets
  • Rodent or insect infestation
  • Unexplained or sudden inability to pay bills, money withdrawals
  • Disparity between assets and living conditions
  • Extraordinary interest by caregiver (family member) in their assets.

What is Elder Abuse?

  • Elder Abuse can be Physical, Psychological, Emotional, Sexual, and Financial.
  • It can be a single or repeated act, or lack of action. Occurring within ANY relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm of distress.

Who is an "elder?"

  • Technically 60-years-old and up. For most service providers 50-years-old and up.
  • 67% are women, 33% are men.
  • Law includes the Elderly AND incapacitated adults.
  • 18-years-old and up; physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to manage their own personal, home, or financial affairs.

Who abuses?

  • Trusted care givers with some expectation of trust.
  • Spouses, partners, family members, care givers, etc.
  • Often have co-occurring issues: anger, substance abuse, health issues, stress.

These ARE NOT reasons or excuses for the abuser. These are issues that magnify the underlying problem: the abuser likes to abuse.
Abusers use common tactics such as: emotional, psychological, or spiritual abuse; isolation; neglect; manipulating family; threats; financial exploitation; sexual or physical abuse.

Our goal (and the goal of all who work with the abused elderly) is to treat them with dignity and respect. Even though volunteers may be younger they will treat you with the same dignity and respect as a peer would. We are here to help you understand what has happened or is happening, give you all the information you may need, support you as you work to process what has happened, and most importantly to LISTEN.

As with other types of abuse there are potential Red Flags that you loved one or friend is being abused.

Child abuse is more than just bruises and broken bones...

While physical abuse is most obvious, children are often suffering from many other types of abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Any sexual act between an adult and a child. This includes any physical acts like fondling, penetration, oral sex and also includes forcing children to watch sexual acts.

Emotional Abuse

Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, constantly telling them they are “bad" , "useless" or “a mistake.” It also includes the failure to provide affection and support necessary for the development of a child’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), withdrawal of attention, lack of praise and lack of positive reinforcement. While emotional abuse may not seem as harmful as physical or sexual abuse, it can often leave long lasting scars.


Neglect has many facets. It includes failing to provide for a child’s physical needs. This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene.

If a child discloses ANY abuse to you

It is important to know that ANY PERSON in the state of New Hampshire who reasonably suspects child abuse is mandated to report that abuse. You should call the central intake number for DCYF (1-800-894-5533) when you believe that the child is disclosing abuse. If the child would like to talk with you about what happened, here are some important things to remember.

  • It is most important that you LISTEN to what the child is telling you.
  • DO NOT investigate the child's claims
  • DO NOT ask leading questions
  • DO NOT make any promises to child about what might happen
  • DO NOT notify the person the child is accusing, even if it is a parent or caregiver


  • Provide a safe environment where the child feels like they can talk
  • Be a good listener
  • Tell the child it was not their fault
  • Be supportive
  • Know your own limits
  • Tell the truth
  • Call DCYF as soon as possible


If you have any questions contact the CCCNH office: 225-7276 or hotline: 1-866-841-6229; Merrimack Child Advocacy Center: 228-0529; or Division of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF): 1-800-894-5533

NH RSA 631:1 States that Knowingly or Recklessly causing harm to a child under the age of 13 is considered a Class-A Felony.

What is Stalking?

When a person purposefully, knowingly or recklessly engages in conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of their family. Stalking is serious, often violent and can escalate over time. It is important to understand that a person does not need to have had a personal relationship with someone in order to become a victim of stalking.

Stalkers can:

  • Follow you and show up in the places you are.
  • Send you unwanted gifts, letters, texts and emails.
  • Threaten to harm you, your family and even your pets.
  • Damage your property like your car, or home.
  • Try to get information about you from friends, family members or co-workers.
  • Follow or track you using technology
  • Monitor your cell phone or computer usage
  • Post rumors about you  on social media to try and engage you.
  • Any other action that places you in fear, or shows that a stalker is trying to control you.

Stalking Victimization...

  • 6.6 million people are stalked each year in the United States
  • 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know
  • 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by a CURRENT or FORMER intimate partner
  • People aged 18-24 experience the highest rate of stalking


Impacts of Stalking...

  • Stalking victims can feel fear about what the stalker may do next.
  • They can feel vulnerable and not know who to trust.
  • They can face sleeplessness, anxiety, loss of appetite, depression and irritability.
  • They can feel hopeless.

If you are a victim of stalking, get connected to an advocate at the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire. We can assist you with safety planning, navigating the court process and assist in getting you connected to legal services. We can also offer support in those times when you feel like you have no place else to turn.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is non-consensual sexual contact or penetration by physical force, by threat of bodily harm or when the victim is incapable of giving consent by virtue of mental illness, mental disability, intoxication or being under the age of consent (16-years- old in New Hampshire). While sexual assault can take many different forms, the loss of power and control that a victim experiences is a common thread. 

Myths about sexual assault reflect social, cultural, racial, and/or gender-based stereotypes. These myths affect victim/survivors of sexual violence and perpetuate the silencing of this crime.

Sexual Assault is a crime of power and control. 
A person is more likely to be harmed by someone in his or her circle of friends and family. Perpetrators of sexual violence are almost always someone the victim knows. In New Hampshire 87% of females and 77% of males, knew their perpetrator (2006 Sexual Assault in New Hampshire Report). A majority of assaults can be categorized as acquaintance or intimate partner assault. These types of assault are ones in which the victim and perpetrator are known to each other. Intimate partner sexual assault exists whenever sexual violence is present between married partners, unmarried partners, people in dating relationships, people of all genders and sexual orientations, and teens (Winters, 2008). Acquaintance assault exists when sexual violence is present between those that know each other but are not involved in the previously mentioned relationship. These two types of assaults account for the majority of all sexual assaults


  • There is no single "right" response for survivors of sexual violence
  • Sexual assault can be a life-threatening situation and whatever you did to survive was the right thing to do.
  • Sexual assault can happen to anyone
  • Sexual violence is NEVER the victim's fault
  • No one deserves to be assaulted

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to gain power and control over another. A batterer can use many tactics in order to maintain control such as physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, verbal, emotional, mental/psychological, and economic abuse. Domestic violence is a crime that affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It is found in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating. Abusive behavior is not caused by an anger management issue, rather,  abuse is a choice by the batterer. There is no excuse for any form of abuse and the victim is never to blame.

In New Hampshire it is estimated that 33.4% of women, and 24% of men have experienced a physical assault by an intimate partner. (Sources: 2007 NH Violence Against Women Report, 2009 NH Violence Against Men Report)

Physical violence is only a small part of the abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can be equally as devastating. Many times the victim blames themselves for the abuse and believes they can end the violence if they change. This is a common form of manipulation and a tactic that leaves no visible marks. The victim begins to lose self respect and self worth, making them extremely vulnerable to the abusers controlling behavior.

There are numerous complex reasons why individuals stay with abusive partners: fear for personal safety, or the safety of their children or pets, economic pressures, feelings of helplessness, lack of resources, compassion for the perpetrator, coercion by family, and religious and cultural beliefs. It is important for everyone to know that leaving a relationship is often the most dangerous time for a victim. 

Abuse is rarely ever a one time incident, it is continuous and often referred to as the "cycle of violence". It often begins subtly and will escalate in frequency and severity over time. There are usually three stages that occur in the "cycle of violence". Every stage lasts a different amount of time depending on each situation and the individual relationship.

Typically the stages are:

Tension Building Stage: Walking on eggshells, criticism, yelling, swearing, using angry gestures, coercion, threats, blaming 

Abuse Stage: Any form of abuse such as physical and sexual attacks, threats, and intimidation

Honeymoon Stage: Apologies, promises to change, gifts, blames abuse on victim, minimize or denies abuse

What are my options?

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship there is help and options are available to you. Remember if you are ever in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

You do not have to do this alone. Get connected to the crisis center nearest you by calling the statewide toll-free domestic violence hotline at 1-866-644-3574. Trained advocates are ready to answer your questions, offer support, and safety plan with you. All services are free and confidential.

You are not alone.

  • One in 5 Women and 1 in 7 Men have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
  • Thirty-three percent of Women and 24% of Men in NH have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner.
  • One in 6 Women and 1 in 19 Men have been victims of stalking in their lifetime.
  • One in 4 Girls and 1 in 6 Boys are Sexually abused before 18-years-old.
  • One in 10 Older Adults living in the community have experienced Elder Abuse in the past year.

Sources: NH Violence Against Women Report, 2007 ; NH Violence Against Men Report, 2009; The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 2010

Anyone can be a victim! Perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence do not discriminate by race, religion, ethnicity, education, economic standing, sexual orientation or gender.

We offer PEER SUPPORT GROUPS for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Please call our office for more information (603) 225-7376.


Conversations with Crisis Line volunteers and advocates are protected under confidentiality. This means that information shared during a crisis line call or one-on-one conversations with "on-duty" advocates cannot be disclosed without your written consent.
The only exceptions to confidentiality is in regards to abuse of a child or abuse of an incapacitated adult.