Nationwide, domestic violence is an enormous public safety problem, as it is in New Hampshire. Each year in our state, over 13,000 victims of domestic violence seek assistance from crisis centers, and it is currently the leading cause of homicide in the state. Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse used by one partner in a relationship to maintain power and control over the other partner. It occurs in families from all economic, educational, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Ninety-five percent of the victims of spousal abuse are women, and it is estimated that three to four million women are beaten each year in our country. Violence in one generation encourages violence in the next generation, creating a cycle of abuse. Almost two-thirds of the men who abuse their partners witnessed abuse or were abused as children, and witnessing domestic violence is the single best predictor of juvenile delinquency and adult criminality for males.
The Amherst Police Department is committed to the protection of those suffering from domestic violence. Beyond the building of a criminal case against an offender, our investigators work diligently to ensure the safety of victims and urge them in each case to contact the area’s local crisis center, Bridges – Domestic and Sexual Violence Support. The services provided by Bridges are free and confidential and include a 24 hour crisis line, shelter, court advocacy, medical and legal options and referrals, peer counseling and support groups, and emotional support. Bridges operates a main office in downtown Nashua, along with a satellite office in Milford. Click on this link to learn more about Bridges: www.bridgesnh.org