New Research Finds Nearly Three Quarters of NH Men Are Victims of Sexual or Physical Violence
Majority of Sexual Assaults Occurred Before the Victim Turned 18
Media Contact:  Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

Maureen McDonald
603-224-8893 x. 311
NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
February 10, 2009

CONCORD, N.H. – Nearly three out of every four men in New Hampshire experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime, a rate that exceeds the national average, according to the results of the first ever New Hampshire Violence Against Men survey. The report finds most of these experiences, particularly sexual assault, happened before the victims turned 18 years old.

The results of the survey were released today in the report, “Violence Against Men in New Hampshire.” The survey and report are a collaboration of the University of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

According to the report, one in 20 New Hampshire men reported being sexually assaulted, and more than two-thirds (68 percent) of those assaults occurred before the victim’s 18th birthday. Nearly three quarters of men (71 percent) reported experiencing a physical assault, with nearly one in four (24 percent) having been assaulted by an intimate partner.

“Every man, woman, and child has the right to live a life free of violence. The results of this survey show that is not the case for many men in this state. In 2007 our 14 member programs served over 1,000 men, but we know there are more victims who need our support. We hope this report will encourage them to reach out for help,” said Grace Mattern, report author and executive director for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Interviews were conducted with more than 1,000 randomly selected men in the state between Oct. 26 and Nov. 20, 2007. The research was conducted by University of New Hampshire researchers Sharyn Potter, associate professor of sociology; David Laflamme, research assistant professor of health management and policy and the maternal and child health epidemiologist for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services; and Mary Moynihan, research associate professor in women’s studies.

Key Findings

Sexual Assault
• Young men are more likely to be assaulted than are adults.
• 68 percent of the most recent sexual assaults committed against men occurred before the victim was 18.
• 50 percent of reported assaults occurred when the victim was age 12 or younger; 18 percent occurred between ages 13 and 17.

Physical Assault
• Physical violence against men affects all age groups, but young men and boys are at the greatest risk.
• 17 percent of reported physical assaults occurred before the respondent was age 13.
• 37 percent of reported physical assaults occurred before the respondent was age 18.
• 61 percent of reported physical assaults occurred before the respondent was age 25.

Intimate Partner Violence
• 24 percent of men surveyed reported having been physically assaulted by an intimate partner.
• These were more likely to be less serious types of assault (threw something vs. threatened with a knife.)
• Women comprise most of the perpetrators of intimate partner assaults, but overall men are much more likely to be sexually or physically assaulted by another man.
• The perpetrator is almost always someone the victim knows.

“It’s clear from research that violence experienced by youth can lead to problems that show up later in life, such as chronic health conditions,” said Nicholas Toumpas, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. “Many of these problems require the supportive services that are available through our department. However, the findings of this report underscore the need for all of us to work together to help raise awareness about this issue.”

The researchers recommend the following in order to address violence against men:
• Fund primary violence prevention programs, especially those targeted at youth.
• Restore funding for victim services in New Hampshire.
• Promote support, outreach and awareness activities.
• Promote cultural attitudes that support nonviolent conflict resolution.

Copies of the report “Violence Against Men in New Hampshire” are available for download at

University of New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a New England liberal arts college and a major research university with a strong focus on undergraduate-oriented research. A land, sea and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling 11,800 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students.

NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
The NHCADSV is a statewide network committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking. The NHCADSV and its 14 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation.


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