Move to make domestic violence a crime gets support
Senate Bill 318, or Joshua's Law, is named after Joshua Savyon, who was killed by his father, Muni Savyon, during a court-ordered supervised visit last August at a Manchester YWCA visitation center. Muni Savyon, who turned the gun on himself, was under a domestic violence protective order because he had threatened to kill both Joshua and the boy's mother, Becky Ranes.
Ranes testified before the committee last month supporting the bill.
"Joshua's mother told me that she never recognized the signs of domestic violence in her own relationship with Joshua's father," said the bill's prime sponsor Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester. "This law would not only shed more light on the issue of domestic violence, but it also would assist others in getting services and protections earlier in the process."
Supporters say the bill mirrors the federal domestic violence law and requires prosecutors to prove the incident involves family or household members or those in an intimate relationship.
Half of homicides
"Although New Hampshire has enacted reasonable civil protections for victims, we still do not yet have a crime of domestic violence," Soucy said. New Hampshire is one of only 15 states that do not have a crime of domestic violence.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for action.