CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's House has sent the governor legislation to establish a separate crime of domestic violence and name it after a 9-year-old boy killed during a supervised visit with his father in August.
The House passed the bill Wednesday 325-3.
The domestic violence bill was introduced following the death of Joshua Savyon, who was shot to death by his father as the two spent time together at a Manchester YWCA. His father also killed himself.
The bill doesn't change the substance of the crimes but will help distinguish an assault that occurred in a bar fight, for example, from one that involves an attack on a spouse. Making domestic violence a crime will allow the state to collect better data that can be used for prevention, education and intervention.
Gov. Maggie Hassan said she looks forward to signing this "critical public safety measure" into law.
"By taking this important step, we 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 in a statement following passage of the bill.
"Although we will never be able to relieve the pain caused by the tragic murder of Joshua Savyon, enacting this bill in his memory will help countless families and communities," she said.