A bill that would make domestic violence a specific crime in New Hampshire is on its way to becoming law, after the House overwhelmingly passed it Wednesday.
The bill has already cleared the Senate and Governor Maggie Hassan says she will sign it when it reaches her desk.
New Hampshire is one of 15 states where domestic violence isn't recognized in criminal statute.
Amherst Democrat Shannon Chandley says that needs to change.
“As a result, there are abusers who go unrecognized. There are victims and children who may not realize the danger they are in and thus do not seek help in breaking a dangerous pattern of violence.”
The bill has been called Joshua’s Law after Joshua Savyon, the 9-year-old boy killed in a murder-suicide by his father at the Manchester YWCA last summer.
Becky Ranes, Joshua’s mother, testified before committees in the House and Senate, urging lawmakers to pass it.
The bill takes existing crimes and places them into a domestic violence category, which Governor Hassan says will help law enforcement and prosecutors better identify and stop repeat abusers.