As the N.H. Senate Finance Committee considers the proposed budget before them, I urge them to stand with victims of domestic and sexual violence in our state by fully funding New Hampshire’s 13 crisis centers, which includes the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP). As a board member and a community member, I am all too familiar with the critical role that MCVP plays as our local crisis center. Last year alone, we served 968 individuals who were impacted by violence.

Crisis center advocates, like the one serving our fellow residents here in the Monadnock Region, are specially trained to provide support services to Granite Staters who have experienced unimaginable trauma. The services they provide include accompaniments to police departments, hospitals, child advocacy centers, and court; maintaining a 24/7 hotline; operating emergency domestic violence shelters for survivors and their kids; and teaching young people the warning signs of abuse in an effort to stop cycles of violence.

Survivors often come to MCVP at the lowest point in their lives — frightened, on the edge of homelessness, and not a dollar to their name because their abuser intentionally kept all resources from them to stop them from leaving. MCVP advocates help these survivors create a safety plan for themselves and their kids, establish a budget, find a job, find safe and stable housing, and obtain a protective order. The services offered at MCVP are key to helping our fellow community members rebuild their lives.

Please join me in asking the Legislature to pass a budget to fully fund New Hampshire’s crisis centers to so they can continue their life-saving work to eliminate domestic violence, rape and child abuse in our state. Our community (and communities across the state) desperately need these services.

MAGGIE RICE

53 Kennedy Drive

Keene

(This writer represents Ward 4 on the Keene City Council.)