Advocates provide emotional support and information for survivors of domestic and sexual violence through our 24-hour support line. An advocate is available in person at our offices, 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, no appointment necessary. Advocates can also meet survivors at the hospital, police department, or court. For more specific information or to answer questions you may have, click on the links below.
Would you like some support? We are here to help. The following groups are meeting now in either Nashua and/or Milford:
- Domestic Violence Survivors
- Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse Survivors
- Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Survivors for Spanish Speakers
- Sexual Assault Survivors
- Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
- Family & Friends Support for Sexual Assault/Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors
- Children’s & Mom’s Support for Child Witnesses of Domestic Violence
- Children’s & Mom’s Support for Child Victims of Sexual Assault
If you would like to join a support group please call any of Bridges telephone numbers and speak with an advocate. They will have the appropriate support group facilitator call you back.
Advocates offer information and assistance in obtaining protective orders and can provide accompaniment to court hearings. Advocates can administer an intake process that may qualify survivors for free legal representation at permanent restraining order hearings. Advocates are available to assist survivors at the following courts: Nashua District Court, Milford District Court, Merrimack District Court, and Hillsborough County Superior Court.
We offer a safe, confidential shelter at a non-disclosed location. Our safe house is a comfortable home in a residential environment. Trained advocates offer support, information, and referrals to women and children staying in our home, to assist them in rebuilding their lives.
Presentations related to domestic and sexual violence are available to local schools, businesses, and civic groups. Training are tailored to each audience and are compliant with OSHA guidelines and the NH Governor’s Task Force on Gender Equity in Education. Our offerings include presentations on the following topics:
Child Advocacy Program
Advocates provide support to children, teenagers, and their caregivers who are experiencing domestic and/or sexual violence. Advocates work closely with families in cases of exposure to domestic violence in child sexual abuse cases and in our emergency shelter program.
Advocates will work with caregivers around promoting their children’s safety, accessing the most appropriate services for the family and will take the lead role in coordinating services for the child. Advocates are available to assist families when working with other agencies such as Health Care, Division of Child Youth and Families, Mental Health Agencies, Law Enforcement, Courts and Schools.
Advocates can provide other services such as:
- Educational liaison to school districts for families residing in our emergency shelter
- Parenting and non-violent discipline education to parents in our shelter
- Child Advocacy Center accompaniment and follow-up services
- Breaking Barriers/Re-Building Lives: a psycho-educational group for children exposed to domestic violence and a parallel mothers group is also available
- Healing Lives: A psycho-educational group for child victims of sexual violence and a parallel non-offending caregivers group is also available and Teen support groups
About This Program
Domestic violence can take the form of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse as well as isolating and controlling behavior. All forms of domestic violence have an impact on children. Children who witness domestic violence in the home may show signs of depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of guilt or anger. We are here to help. Breaking Barriers/Rebuilding Lives has two parts — a children’s group and a voluntary support group for mothers.
The Children’s Group
The children’s group is designed to:
- Help children identify and express their feelings
- Help children develop new coping skills
- Support children in strengthening their self esteem
- Help children understand that they are not to blame for domestic violence
The Support Group
The ten-week support group is voluntary for mothers or caregivers of the children in the group described above. The goals of the support group are:
- To support
- To help identify the effects of domestic violence on children and their behavior
- To provide information on community resources and on domestic violence
About This Program
We provide a support group for children who have been sexually abused and an education class for the Non-Offending Caregiver. While the adults meet together as a group, the children meet together in their own group.
The children’s curriculum focuses on addressing the effects of sexual abuse. Children who have experienced this trauma may be showing no outwards signs of distress however there are some common issues that arise among children who have experienced sexual abuse. The group will address issues of guilt or responsibility around the abuse, shame or embarrassment, resolve any confusion or questions they may have, and provide education on body safety.
With the support of the group facilitators and the interaction with their peers in the group, the group is designed to:
- Reduce the impact the abuse has had on your family’s and child’s life
- Create a safe place for children to identify, express and process their feelings
- Help children develop new coping skills
- Support children in strengthening their self-esteem
- Help children understand they are not to blame for the abuse
- Increase communication between the child and the non-offending caregiver
- Break the isolation and secrecy of the abuse
The group for the Non-Offending caregiver is a mixture of education and support. There is no typical reaction to trauma and all of your feelings and reactions are normal. You are not to blame. It is not your fault.
The objectives of the group are:
- To provide an environment where caregivers feel validated and supported
- To create a safe environment for caregivers to express their emotions
- To assist caregivers in understanding the victim/offender dynamic
- To help caregivers develop new coping skills
- To assist caregivers in responding to the needs of their child.