A few months ago, I joined seven other men to compete in the “Mr. Concord Pageant” which is a talent show hosted by the GFWC NH Concord Contemporary Club. While the night was lighthearted, the ultimate focus was to raise awareness and funds for very serious malady that plagues our society: domestic violence. It was great to see a group of guys willing to step on the stage not only to showcase their talent (or lack of talent in my case) but to speak from the heart about how they hope to spread the word about the domestic violence resources in the state of NH. Some of the contestants are survivors of domestic violence themselves or have seen friends and family in such situations.
I was fortunate to be crowned the third “Mr. Concord” and my goal is to encourage NH businesses to raise awareness of the resources available to victims of domestic violence. Attached you will find a map of our state’s 13
crisis centers which highlights the areas that they serve, as well as their contact information. Please make this map available in your stores so customers and employees who may need to access services are able to get the information they need. With thousands of our neighbors, friends, and fellow Granite Staters being impacted by domestic and sexual violence, it’s critical that we do our part to connect them to life-saving crisis center services.
This is an uncomfortable topic but your role is simple: put up the attached flyer in your restrooms, break room, website or other areas that customers and employees might frequent. This has been done already by a few businesses and survivors of domestic violence have already benefited: caring friends have passed on the information to victims who then were able to get help.
If you want to take other action, consider holding “Denim days” in your shop. Designate a day, a week, a month, or any period of time for a "Denim Day"
fundraiser, and encourage your employees to pay just $5 to wear jeans for the day. Whether you choose to implement casual Fridays for one month, or you host a one-time event, the funds raised will go a long way in supporting the work by the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition (The Coalition) to create a safer NH. All proceeds will be donated to The Coalition and your efforts will be widely celebrated on social media and its website.
In addition to the hotline information provided on the attached map, the statewide hotline numbers are included below for your reference:
- NH statewide sexual assault hotline: 1-800-277-5570
- NH statewide domestic violence hotline: 1-866-644-3574
About the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: The Coalition is the statewide umbrella agency for NH’s 13 crisis centers, and serves as the voice for victim/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and stalking in our state. Last year, NH’s crisis centers served over 15,000 victims of these crimes. All services provided by your local crisis center are free and confidential. Crisis center services include a 24/7 confidential hotline; emergency domestic violence shelter for victims and their children; advocate accompaniments to courts, hospitals, police departments, and child advocacy centers; financial empowerment programming for victim/survivors of financial abuse; and prevention education programming and in-service trainings for schools, business, and community organizations. If you have any questions about The Coalition or how to best connect with your local crisis center, please contact Madison Lightfoot at Madison@nhcadsv.org.
About the GFWC NH Concord Contemporary Club: The mission of the Concord Contemporary Club is to perform community service work, promote fellowship among the women of the city, and to support the GFWC-NH and the General Federation of Women's Clubs.