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"The batterer feels he is entitled to control his victim," Mattern said. "When there is a threat of losing that victim, when that control is threatened, the batterer can reach out in the most violent means. It's sort of that thinking, 'If I can't have her, nobody else can have her.' " While nearly half of all murders in New Hampshire are related to domestic violence, Strelzin and other experts cautioned against concluding that domestic violence "causes" homicides.

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"That was true in every state. You couldn't legally rape your husband or wife, because Lv Mm Bag a wife was considered your sexual property," Mattern said. "When you look back at how recent in human history that was true, you start to understand why there would still be men who feel they in some way own their partners." It is that controlling nature of domestic violence that makes ending an abusive relationship so dangerous, Reams and Mattern said.

As recently as 1981, married women in New Hampshire had no legal right to tell their husbands, "Not tonight, honey." Like most states, New Hampshire's rape laws had an exception that precluded the prosecution of spouses, Mattern said.

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"Domestic violence is one Louis Vuitton Mini Pochette Transatlantic

United States are beaten by their partners (husbands or boyfriends) or ex partners," the committee's report states.

"It goes across all economic lines, it just doesn't get out as much (in wealthier communities)," Reams said. "It's a community issue. We all can help, and be involved." Ten years ago, then Gov. Jeanne Shaheen created the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, as part of the Governors Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence created by Gov. Steve Merrill in 1993. The committee's reports show that of the 370 murders in New Hampshire from 1990 through 2008, 48 percent involved domestic violence.

"Oftentimes people ask why victims who are being abused do not leave their batterers," wrote Dawn Reams, director of Bridges Domestic and Sexual Violence Support in Nashua. "It is a simple question that does not have a simple explanation. One thing we do know is that the most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim is when she or he decides to leave their abuser." Domestic violence is as common as granite ledge in New Hampshire, and it happens everywhere, Reams said.

Domestic abuse is notoriously under reported in general, and especially in more rural and upper income areas, where neighbors are unlikely to hear a disturbance, and call police, Reams said.

"I wouldn't characterize it as a leading cause," Strelzin said. "You have to look at every case individually to look at what the cause is." Put another way, Mattern said, domestic violence doesn't kill people. People kill people.

"It's so easy for people to say domestic violence is someone else's problem, because it doesn't happen in my house. It allows people to distance themselves from it," Reams said. "You see that a lot. A woman from an affluent community recently said to me, 'It's a good cause, but, you know, that doesn't happen here.'"

Nearly half of all murders in New Hampshire could be characterized as domestic violence, statistics show, and experts warn that victims are never more at risk than when they try to leave an abusive relationship.

Homicides may be rare in Hollis, but the brutal murder in town this past weekend follows a well worn pattern, domestic violence experts say.

found that nearly one in four men (24 percent) and about one in three women (33.4 percent) in New Hampshire report having suffered domestic violence. Still, Reams said, people seem naturally inclined to avoid the topic.

"Until fairly recently in human history, men did control their wives and children," she said.

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The state's 2007 Violence Against Women survey and this year's Violence Against Men survey Vuitton Wallet

"Every year nearly 2,000 people die from domestic violence homicides in the United States, most frequently men causing the death of their female partners," the report states. "In over half of all murders of children under 12, parents were the perpetrators. Half of all female homicide victims were killed by their male partners." Nationally, victims killed directly by a spouse or immediate family member account for 15 percent of all murders from 1976 to 2005, and about one third of all murders involved persons who were acquainted, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports. Only about 14 percent of killings take place between strangers.

"That's not uncommon at all," for abuse to go undocumented, Reams said.

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"The fact that he killed her says there was something going on," said Grace Mattern, director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

"Typically, in New Hampshire, murders involve people who know each other. They occur within a close relationship," said Jeff Strelzin, head of the attorney general's homicide unit. "We don't have a high number of random killings."

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Gary Mar chand, 53, beat his wife, Phyllis Marchand, 45, to death in their home at 458 Silver Lake Road, Hollis, after tying her up and gagging her, prosecutors charge. The couple had recently separated, and their house was up for sale.

"Domestic violence is all about power and control, having power and control over the other person," Reams said. "We hear from women all the time that it's emotional abuse and psychological abuse that can be more damaging long term than the physical abuse, because of what it does to their self esteem, their spirit."

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The aspect of control is implicit in traditional gender roles, Mattern notes. Early marriage laws treated women as property. The various states allowed women to own property during the course of the 1800s, but women couldn't vote in America until 1920.

Furthermore, experts say, domestic abuse isn't always violent. The same impulse may be expressed verbally, or through financial or sexual control.

of the most prevalent legal and social problems in the United States. Every year between three and four million women throughout the Louis Vuitton Leather

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Experts see a pattern in Hollis death

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There was no previously documented history of domestic violence between the Marchands, according to prosecutors and local court records. Gary Marchand has no prior criminal record locally, and his wife never sought a restraining order against him during the five years that they lived in Hollis.

The Marchand murder pretty much speaks for itself as a case of domestic violence, experts said. That it happened soon after she moved out, and the nature of the killing itself, both suggest that a controlling, even abusive relationship was at its root.

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