The Manchester Police Domestic and Sexual Violence Unit is overseen by Sergeant Brian Cosio. The Unit consists of five DV investigators, one adult sexual assault investigator, a full-time victim advocate, a DV Prosecution Unit at the District Court, one AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program position, and one advocate assigned to the Adverse Childhood Experieces Response Team.
The unit works in conjunction with the Domestic Violence Project. This project is a grant funded community- based effort to support all victims of domestic violence and aims to hold offenders accountable for their actions. By working with the YWCA Crisis Services, the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office, and the NH Department of Corrections, this project serves the Manchester Community to better educate everyone about domestic violence, keep victims safe and hold offenders accountable.
Meet Our Team
Domestic Assault Investigators:
Adult Sexual Assault Investigator:
Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Advocate:
Victim Advocate ACERT Program:
- Brittany Fontone 603-792-5557
Domestic Violence District Court Unit: 603-628-6379
Domestic Violence Unit
The Domestic Violence Unit at the Manchester Police Department thinks that you should be aware of the issues and dangers surrounding domestic violence. Domestic Violence occurs in many different relationships, socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures.
There are many warning signs of Domestic Violence/Abuse. Violence does not end immediately with separation as 73% of the women injured in Domestic Violence cases were injured after separation.
There is help and information available for you to break the cycle of violence. Examples of relationships where domestic violence occur are:
Check out our
Domestic Violence Brochure
- Intimate relationships *Gay/Lesbian relationships
- Dating relationships (including teens)
- Elderly parents and children
- Divorced/estranged couples
Are You Abused?
Does the person you love…
- "Track" all of your time?
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Anger easily when drinking ? drugging?
- Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, shove, bite you or the children?
- Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
- Threaten to hurt you or the children?
- Force you to have sex against your will?
The Cycles of Battering
Defined by Lenore Walker
STAGE ONE: TENSION BUILDING
- The woman can sense her partner's "edginess".
- Little issues are smoothed over.
- The woman feels she can and must control the situation.
- She denies her anger, and may even feel she deserves what is happening.
- In order to cope, she denies that there may be more to come and believes she has control over the situation.
- Although she is most likely unaware of it, her anger is increasing after each incidence of violence.
- The batterer may well know that this behavior is "wrong" on some level and fears that she will leave the relationship.
- She may reinforce her partner's fear by withdrawing herself in order not to "set him off" and be the subject of his/her anger. There is an increase in the batterer's feelings of jealousy and fear, usually increasing the brutality.
- THE TENSION RISES.
- Often the woman realizes that there will be an explosion and actually provokes an attack in order to "get it over with" and to have it on her terms. Then, she can feel as though she has some control over what is happening.
STAGE TWO: EXPLOSION
- During the Tension Building stage, the batterer accepts that his/her rage is out of control, but justifies it. During the Explosion Stage, s/he no longer understands his/her anger. The batterer doesn't begin by wanting to hurt the woman, but to teach her a "lesson" and gain control.
- A woman can usually retell the Explosion Stage; the batterer can rarely retell what actually happened.
- Only during the Explosion Stage does the woman feel that it is safe to release her anger and fight back.
- This is the shortest of the three stages, generally lasting from a few hours to two days.
- We do not know why the batterer stops the violence in this stage.
- It is not uncommon for a batterer to wake the woman from sleeping and begin to beat her.
- A woman will often deny her injuries and their seriousness, sometimes to soothe the batterer so that this stage will end.
STAGE THREE: HONEYMOON
- This stage is welcomed by both parties; the batterer is sorry and tries to make-up.
- The batterer fears that the woman will leave and becomes quite charming and manipulative.
- The batterer believes that s/he can control the anger and will never again hurt the woman; s/he also succeeds in convincing her (and possibly others) of this.
- The woman wants to believe her partner and actually feels herself getting a glimpse of her original view of how nice love is.
- The batterer plays dependent: "s/he'll fall apart without her", so that she ends up feeling responsible for her partner as well as for her own victimization.
- This stage is generally longer than the Explosion Stage, but shorter than the Tension Building Stage.
Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
- In general, 70% of men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children.
- Arbitrell Bowker and McFerron, "On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and Child Abuse", Feminist Perspective on Wife Abuse, Kersti Yllo and Michelle Bogard, eds. 1988
- Nearly 70% of the children who go to shelters for battered women are victims of abuse or neglect.
- Jean I Layzer, Barbara D. Goodson and Christine Delange "Children in Shelters", Response. Volume 9, Number 2, 1986
- 3.3 million children in the United States, between ages 3 and 17 years, are yearly at risk of exposure to marital violence.
- Peter Jaffe, David Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson (1990) Children of Battered Women. Newbury Park. CA: Sage Publications
- Studies of abused children in the general population reveal that nearly half of them have mothers who are also abused, making wife abuse the single strongest identifiable risk for child abuse.
- Lenore Walker, Ed.d The Battered Woman Syndrome, New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc. 1979
- In 1992, an estimated 1,261 children died from abuse or neglect. This means that more than 3 children died each day in the United States as a result of maltreatment.
- National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, 1993
- In a study of juvenile offenders, 63% of those incarcerated for murder had killed the men who had beaten their mothers.
- Peggy Sissel, Public Education Coordinator with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- A comparison of delinquent and nondelinquent youth found that a history of family violence or abuse was the most significant difference between the two groups.
- Miller (1989) "Violence By and Against America's Children", Journal of Juvenile Justice Digest, XVII (12), p.6
- Boys who witness family violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than are boys raised in non-violent homes.
- Girls who witness their mother's abuse have a higher rate of being battered as adults.
- "Battered Families…Shattered lives", Georgia Department of Human Resources. Family Violence Teleconference Resources Manual, January 1992
- Children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate 1500% higher than the national average in the general population.
- National Woman Abuse Prevention Project, Washington D.C.
- As violence against women becomes more severe and more frequent in the home, children experience a 300% increase in physical violence by the male batterer.
- Strauss and R. Gelles, Physical Violence in American Families. 1990
- Children from violent families can provide clinicians with detailed accounts of abusive incidents their parents never realized they had witnessed.
- Peter Jaffe, David Wolfe and Susan Kaye Wilson (1990) Children of Battered Women. Newbury Park. CA: Sage Publications
- Batterers may abduct their children as a way of retaliating against their former spouses or partners.
- It has been estimated that in more than half of the kidnappings of children by parents in this country, the abductions occur in the context of domestic violence.
- In most cases, parents who are searching for their child, abducted by the other parent, are white, female, have reported a history of domestic violence and are the custodial parent.
- Geoffrey Greif and Rebecca Hegar, "When Parents Kidnap: The Families Behind the Headlines", 272, 1992
- Sixty-two percent of sons over age 14 were injured when they attempted to protect their mothers from attacks by abusive male partners.
- Interviews with children living in battered women's shelters show that, within a one year period, 85% of these children had stayed twice with friends or relatives, and 75% over age 15 had run away at least twice.
- Maria Roy, Children in the Crossfire, 1988
- In homes where domestic violence occurs, fear, instability, and confusion replace the love, comfort, and nurturing that children need. These children live in constant fear of physical harm from the person who is supposed to care for and protect them. They may feel guilt at loving the abuser or blame themselves for causing the violence.
- "Domestic Violence, Understanding a Community Problem", National Woman Abuse Prevention Fund
Protective Orders/Restraining Orders
It helps to know the law....
It is against the law for your spouse/partner to:
- Assault you (RSA 631:1,2,2-a);
- Threaten you so that you are placed in fear (RSA 635:2);
- Force sexual contact or relations on you against your will (RSA 631:1,2,2-a,4 RSA 632-A);
- Enter your residence or home against your will, if you are living separately (RSA 635:2);
- Inflict false imprisonment (RSA 633:3);
- Destroy or threaten to destroy your property (RSA 634:1 or 2)
If any member of your household or your spouse, ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner or someone you have dated or are dating has done any of these things to you, you may seek the help and protection of the court and the police. You may ask the courts to order the abusive person to stay away from you and to stop abusing you. Separately, but in addition, you may also ask the police to file criminal charges against the individual.
There is a special law in New Hampshire designed to protect any adult against domestic violence. The law is RSA 173-B. Additionally, minors can petition the court for restraining orders against persons whom they are currently or formerly involved in a romantic relationship with, regardless of whether or not the relationship was sexually consummated.
To use the law, you do not have to be married to, or ever have lived with the person who abused you. The law protects you from abuse by current or former sexual or intimate partners as well as past or present household or family members. You do not have to file for a divorce; you do not need a lawyer; and you do not have to pay any court fees.
The court can give you emergency protective orders if you can show that you are in immediate danger of being abused. The court may issue immediate orders, directing the abusive individual not to abuse you and not to have any contact with you, enter your residence, place of employment or school. The court may also grant you temporary custody of your children. These orders may be issued the same day you file your papers and will become effective as soon as the police give (serve) a copy of them to the abusive person. These orders will be in effect throughout the State of New Hampshire. (Also, the State of New Hampshire honors restraining orders issued from other states.)
The abusive person will be directed to turn over to the police any deadly weapons he/she used to threaten or harm you.
Copies of these emergency orders will be sent by the court to the police department for service to the abuser.
If you need a protective order and the court is closed, the Manchester Police will assist you in filing for an emergency order. The law allows you to do this so that you can seek protection from abuse when a court is closed.
When this service is needed, you must contact the police. A police officer will assist you in filling out forms that document the abuse. The police officer will then call a judge on your behalf and read to the judge what you have written on the form. If the judge believes you are in immediate danger he or she can issue a protective order over the phone. The police will then attempt to serve the order on your abuser. However, these types of orders (telephonic orders) will only be effective, once served, until the close of the next regular session of the court. Then you must appear before a judge to ask for a new temporary order.
Once a protective order is in effect against the abusive person it is a crime, and contempt of court for this individual to violate the order. If the abusive person violates a protective order by committing assault, criminal trespass or another criminal act, the police must arrest and prosecute him/her. It is a crime when a person is aware of a restraining order and does something the court ordered him or her not to do. This includes acts of harassment or any kind of retaliation.
In addition, you may take the abusive person back to court on a charge of contempt. A contempt hearing must be held within fourteen days, and if the individual is found guilty, he/she may be fined or put in jail.
The above entries describe emergency protective orders. In addition to emergency protective orders, you may ask the court to issue final orders that would continue the previously ordered conditions. Also, final orders can include orders granting you temporary custody of children, and orders that the abuser pay support for them (if legally responsible to do so). Also in a final order the judge can grant you use of any jointly owned property including your residence, household furniture and your automobile.
Moreover, the judge can order the abusive individual to pay you for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result of an attack, such as hospital, doctor or dentist bills, lost wages etc.
Also, final orders will restrain your abuser from intimidating or threatening you, your relatives (whether or not they live with you) or your household members, (if appropriate).
In addition, the judge may direct the abusing party to engage in a batterer's program or a personal counseling program.
The court may issue these orders after a hearing where you proved to the judge you have been abused. Final orders remain in effect for one year. At the end of the year, you may go back to court and ask the judge to extend the protective orders if you still fear possible abuse.
How to Get a Restraining Order:
- Go to a court, which can help you. You may get restraining orders at a District Court, or a Superior Court. (Manchester District Court 35 Amherst St. Manchester, NH Tel. #(603) 624-6510; Hillsborough County Superior Court 300 Chestnut St. Manchester, NH Tel. #(603) 669-7410)
- If you have left your home and are temporarily living in a place to escape abuse, you can go to the court closest to your temporary home. The court will keep your new address confidential. If you move while the case is pending, you may ask the court to transfer the case to the court most convenient to you (community where you're new home is located).
- Ask the clerk of court for a domestic violence petition. The clerk will give you the form and may help you fill it out. Simply write down what happened to you, detailing the circumstances of abuse. You will have to swear that what you have written is true.
- If you ask for emergency orders, the clerk will take the papers to a judge. When you see the judge, tell him/her as simply and honestly as possible what happened to you, and why you are in danger. If the judge finds that you are in danger, he/she may immediately issue protective orders. These orders will be faxed by the court to the police, where they will then be served to your abuser. The police must serve the orders on your abuser in order to be in effect.
Hearing on Your Petition:
A full hearing will be held on your petition within thirty days of when you file it, or within ten days of the date the petition is served on the abusive person, whichever is later. At the hearing, you will have to testify before the judge about what happened and why you want the restraining order. Your abuser will have an opportunity to provide information to the judge. Thereafter the judge will make a decision based on all the evidence provided. Therefore, it is important for you tell the judge what happened to you that caused you to file for the protective order. In addition, if applicable, bring witnesses, medical records and other official documents for the judge to see. The judge will be making a decision on all the facts presented.
Filing Criminal Complaints:
In addition to getting protective orders, you may also ask the police to help you charge the abusive person with a crime. The Manchester Police Dept. is available twenty-four hours a day and is bound by law to use "all means within reason" to prevent domestic abuse.
If the police have probable cause to believe that you have been abused as defined in RSA 173-B:1 I within the past six hours by a current or former spouse, partner, household member, etc. they may immediately arrest the abusive person. Also, if your abuser has committed the offense of stalking against you, the police can also arrest him within 12 hours of the event. If it has been more than 12 hours, the police cannot make an arrest on a misdemeanor charge without a warrant.
If the police do not make an arrest within this 12-hour period, you may file a criminal complaint against your abuser. To do this, call the Manchester Police Dept. at (603) 668-8711 to file a report. Once an initial report is taken by the police, your case will be assigned to a member of the department's domestic violence unit for follow-up. The unit member will assist you in filing criminal charges by drafting an affidavit and warrant for the arrest of your abuser. Please note that in any emergency situation you should call 911.
Emergency Shelter and Assistance:
If you need to physically remove yourself and your children from danger, help is available. In addition to the assistance that can be offered to you by the Manchester Police, you may call the YWCA Crisis Service at (603) 625-5785 or (603) 668-2299. The YWCA Crisis Service, located at 72 Concord St. in Manchester, NH is a non-profit program providing a twenty-four hour crisis line, emergency housing, court advocacy, hospital and police accompaniment and support groups for survivors of domestic abuse.
Questions and Answers
This section will attempt to answer some of the more common questions asked by people who are in potentially volatile situations. These questions and their answers are geared towards people who live in the City of Manchester.
Where can I get a Protective Order?
You should be able to get a Protective order at your district court. If you live in Manchester the district court is on Amherst Street, one block up from the CVS store on Elm Street.
How can I get my stuff out of our apartment/house?
If you live in Manchester you can call the Police at (603) 668-8711 and ask for a CIVIL STANDBY. These generally last 5-15 minutes. The Officer will standby while you gather essential items. If the 2nd party/person is not at home the Police will not allow you to gain unauthorized entry.
My protective order says that my significant other can't see the kids but I want him/her to be able to see them. What do I do?
At the final hearing for your Protective Order, you need to make that wish clear to the Judge. You can also go to Family/Superior court and have custody proceedings started.
Why do I need a Protective Order if there are bail conditions that the offender has to stay away from me?
In the State of New Hampshire, Police cannot arrest a person for violating their bail conditions unless the violation occurs in the Officer's presence. A protective order is something that you can also carry with you, give to schools/daycare and is more easily enforced by the Police.
I was assaulted last night by my significant other. I called the Police but he/she wasn't arrested. What am I supposed to do now?
Call the Domestic Violence Unit at (603) 668-8711 ext. 353 or 366. We will set up an appointment with you so that you can come in and file a criminal complaint for that person to be arrested.
My significant other was arrested and I took out a Protective order but, now he/she is calling/writing me from jail. What can I do?
You can call the Police and make a report of "Violation of a Protective Order." Make sure to write down dates, times and locations so that the Officer will have all the details.
My significant other was arrested but I really only want him/her to get counseling. Who can I talk to about that?
You can call the Manchester District Court. They also are part of our team. They are the Domestic Violence Project. Their number is (603) 628-6379 or 6381. You can ask to speak with an advocate about your case and tell that person your concern.
My significant other was arrested and now I am going to court to get a Protective Order. He/she has my house/car/etc. keys. How can I get them back?
When you go to get the Protective Order, tell the Judge about this. Ask to have your keys/other essential items returned. The Judge will generally put that on your Protective Order.
I took out a Protective Order but it still hasn't been served on the other person. What is going on?
Several things could have happened:
- the person may have moved and the Police in that town aren't aware of your order
- the person may be avoiding service by not coming to their door when the Police arrive. Please supply the Police with that person's work address, if you know it, and any other locations that you know they go to often
- the Police Department may not have your order yet. If that is what you are told you need to call the court where you got the order and find out what the problem is.
I was served a subpoena to appear in court. I do not want to go and a friend told me that nothing would happen if I didn't go. What's the story?
You need to be aware that if you do not show up for court and you have gotten a subpoena you could be arrested. If you are thinking about not showing up, please call us at the Police Station and we will talk with you about WHY you aren't going to come. Maybe we can help you.
What can the Domestic Violence Unit do to help me?
The D.V. Unit at Manchester Police Department can:
- Give you information concerning your abusers arrest
- Update you on happenings in your case
- Inform you of when the court date will be for the criminal trial
- Offer suggestions as to how to stay safe if your abuser is out on bail or was not arrested
- Refer you to the YWCA if you need a safe place to stay
- Explain the difference between bail conditions and a Protective order
- Offer suggestions if your relationship is becoming violent
- Take pictures of your injuries a few days after the initial report was made
- Help you make a criminal complaint against your abuser
- Tell you what to expect from the court proceedings if there is going to be a trial
- Follow-up with you at your home if you are disabled or have some other serious medical condition that prevents you from getting to the Police station
People have different concerns and questions during this stressful and frightening time in their lives. If we have not addressed yours, please call us: (603) 668-8711 ext. 5530. If we have addressed your concerns and you still have questions please call us as well.