About Us

 
 

Mission

New Beginnings – Without Violence & Abuse is dedicated to ending sexual, domestic, and stalking violence through the provision of safe and effective services, including emergency refuge and support; and works toward social change by promoting an effective community response to violence.

 

 
 

Statement of Philosophy

No one deserves to be beaten or raped or to live in fear of being beaten or raped. Domestic violence, including emotional, physical and verbal abuse, as well as sexual assault are intolerable and must be abolished from our society.

It is our belief that violence has its historical roots in a hierarchical structure that promotes inequality, thereby promoting violence. As a result, we at New Beginnings are committed to the convictions of non-hierarchical flat structure and choose to make all our decision through the process of consensus, which emulates this view.

We acknowledge and support a woman’s right to make her own choices in her own time and in her own way; and that she is valued and respected for her experiences.

Lastly, we come to this work offering our strength to women seeking assistance. Although many of us working to end such violence are women, we encourage the assistance and participation of all who join in this struggle. Domestic and sexual violence is not a woman’s issue, but is ultimately a human rights issue. We build on our experiences to help and empower each other to make a difference for us all.

 
 
 

Commitment to Anti-Oppression Work

New Beginnings acknowledges domestic and sexual violence and stalking as expressions of gender based oppression in our society and societies around the world. We acknowledge that gender based oppression is systemically connected to other forms of oppression experienced by individuals and communities. People may experience oppression based on not only their gender but also their race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, class, ability, age, ethnicity, immigration status or religion. While each form of oppression has unique elements and effects, we recognize that each functions similarly through explicit and conscious prejudice and discrimination and through the unconscious attitudes and behaviors of a society that presumes a specific cultural norm.

We acknowledge that our clients may be simultaneously disenfranchised by multiple systems of oppression and are committed to providing services and education that meet their unique needs. We value the lived experience of each individual and the power that each person and community possesses to create change. We base our services upon a concept of humanism which views individuals as subjects in their own work toward liberation rather than as objects of our philanthropy. As Paulo Freire wrote in The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.”

We recognize the importance of having a variety of social group identities reflected in our staff, board and volunteer make-up and in our outreach materials. We are committed to training our staff, board and volunteers not only on issues of cultural competency in services but also on issues of self-awareness, privilege and social group identification in order to recognize their own experience or collusion in oppression and thus, build better communities from the individual outward.

New Beginnings is committed to working with agencies in Belknap County that work to eradicate various forms of oppression so that we, as a community, may forge a solid effort to address oppression on all fronts. We seek to share ideas and approaches so that we may collaborate to make real, long-lasting change. As long as racism, ageism, homophobia, and the like exists, gender based oppression will also exist. In order to accomplish our mission to eradicate domestic and sexual violence and stalking, our mission must be to eradicate all forms of oppression.

 
 
 

Non-Discrimination Policy

New Beginnings does not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic class, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation.

 
 
 

Our History

In 1991, a group of concerned citizens came together with the belief that it was important for battered women to have a voice. The speed with which New Beginnings came into being was nothing short of phenomenal. Within six months of the decision to start a new agency, New Beginnings had filed incorporation papers with the Federal Government to gain non-profit status, offered a 30-hour training for new volunteers, began offering services through a 24-hour crisis line, and had received the endorsements of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the Division of Mental Health, and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Since those early days, New Beginnings has continued to grow stronger, and despite many challenges, New Beginnings has reached multiple milestones, including opening the first open shelter in the state.

Our work at New Beginnings continues to evolve as we explore the next frontiers of this work.  Very much in line with the battered women’s movement as a whole, our recent development has focused on children, prevention, and serving our diverse communities. Our focus has moved from being solely on the victim/survivor as an individual to also working with his/her children.  We offer an array of services for children and teens who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence, especially those who witness domestic violence. We encourage our community partners to become engaged in prevention as well, and have presented to community groups about prevention and its importance.  We have a presence in every school district in Belknap County and are consistently furthering our involvement by expanding our programming in more schools.

In 1991 when the organization started, it had 228 contacts. Today, we serve over 900 individuals each year. Battered women first found their safe haven from abuse when the shelter doors opened. Today, domestic and sexual abuse hasn’t ended and neither has the need for New Beginnings, which has helped and continues to help thousands of women, men, and children rebuild their lives.

 

 
 
 

Our Guiding Principles

We are committed to confronting domestic, sexual, and stalking violence by:

1. Providing direct services and support to victims of violence.

2. Educating survivors about the choices they have.

3. Educating the community about the history, causes, and methods of confronting domestic and sexual violence.

We acknowledge and support the right of each victim/survivor to make their own decisions in their own time and in their own way. We value and respect each victim/survivor for their own lived experiences.

 
 
 

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