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Half of NH Women Have Experienced Sexual, Physical Assault

Apr 27, 2007

Nearly one in four New Hampshire women has been sexually assaulted and more than three-quarters of sexual assaults (83 percent) occur before a woman is 25. The number of New Hampshire women who have been victims of sexual assault – more than 112,000 – could fill Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play, more than three times, finds a new report from the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence. It concludes that at least one-third of New Hampshire women have been physically assaulted by intimate partners.

New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said in a statement before a Sexual Assault Awareness Month press conference, “As the recent Violence Against Women Report confirms, sexual assault is an issue that affects many New Hampshire citizens and I am proud to be involved in an effort that has resulted in so many more victims coming forward and seeking support and services.”

Women reporting multiple types of abuse also reported poorer physical health. “Women who report having a chronic disease or medical condition were more likely to report sexual and physical violence than women who did not report having a chronic disease or medical condition,” Violence Against Women in New Hampshire says. “Health care providers need to learn to screen privately and confidentially,” Dr. Katie Little, an emergency room physician at Dartmouth Medical Center, told the Nashua Telegraph.

Violence Against Women in New Hampshire concludes, “The number of women in New Hampshire who have experienced sexual assault and/or physical violence is alarming, and underscores the need to support efforts to prevent these crimes from occurring, to provide support to victims, to hold perpetrators accountable for their abuse, and to raise awareness in our communities of the prevalence and consequences of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.”

To view the complete report, visit www.nhcadsv.org/Maureen/VAW%20Report%20Final.pdf.

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