NH takes aim at domestic violence with Joshua's Law
Thursday, Ranes joined Gov. Maggie Hassan in her office when she signed Senate Bill 318, or Joshua’s Law.
“I’m proud that New Hampshire has finally joined the majority of states in establishing a specific crime of domestic violence, which will help law enforcement and prosecutors better identify and stop repeat abusers, while providing victims with access to support and protections as early as possible,” Hassan said. “Though there is nothing we can do to alleviate her pain, enacting this law in Joshua’s memory is an important step forward for the safety of our communities. Becky’s advocacy is an inspiration for us all, and I thank her on behalf of the countless families and communities that will be helped by this measure.”
Under current law, someone who assaults or threatens a domestic partner or family member is usually charged under one of 17 state statutes that include such crimes as simple assault, criminal threatening, kidnapping or stalking.
Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice, in testifying in favor of the bill, has said the change would improve the accuracy of state records in domestic violence cases, which in turn would improve the likelihood that such cases would be properly adjudicated and reported to federal authorities.
Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, was the prime sponsor of the bill, which sailed through the Senate and House with bipartisan support.