Domestic Violence

New Hampshire RSA173-B Protection of Persons from Domestic Violence

“‘Abuse’ means the commission or attempted commission of one or more of the acts described in subparagraphs (a) through (g) by a family or household member or by a current or former sexual or intimate partner, where such conduct is determined to constitute a credible present threat to the petitioner’s safety.  The court may consider evidence of such acts, regardless of their proximity in time to the filing of the petition, which, in combination with recent conduct, reflects an ongoing pattern of behavior which reasonably causes or has caused the petitioner to fear for his or her safety or well-being:
(a) Assault or reckless conduct as defined in RSA 631:1 through RSA 631:3.
(b) Criminal threatening as defined in RSA 631:4.
(c) Sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2 through RSA 632-A:5.
(d) Interference with freedom as defined in RSA 633:1 through RSA 633:3-a.
(e) Destruction of property as defined in RSA 634:1 and RSA 634:2.
(f) Unauthorized entry as defined in RSA 635:1 and RSA 635:2.
(g) Harassment as defined in RSA 644:4. “

In the State of New Hampshire victims can receive a protective order against an abusive family member or intimate partner. The victim must provide evidence that at least one act of domestic violence as defined by statute RSA173-B has occurred and a reasonable person would have reason to fear the accused.

For full text of the law click here.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior that one person uses to establish power and control over another. A batterer uses fear and intimidation to control their partner. The violence may take many forms–verbal abuse, emotional abuse, economic control, etc.

The Power and Control Wheel below demonstrates various ways a batterer may try to control a victim.

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Physical Abuse:

Can include, but is not limited to:  slapping, pushing, punching, burning, using weapons, driving recklessly, holding you down, punching walls,  pulling hair, preventing you from leaving, biting, arm twisting, etc.

Sexual Abuse:

Can include marital rape, unwanted touching, sexual comments, pressuring you for sex, refusing to talk to you about or use any contraception, contraception sabotage, forced or coerced sex, hurtful sex, false accusations of flirting or having an affair, and uncomfortable stares.

Emotional/Verbal Abuse:

Can include threats of physical abuse, humiliation in front of friends or family, destruction of personal property, insults, disrespect for feelings and opinions, name calling, jealousy, possessiveness, mind games, needing to know where you are all the time, ignoring you, isolation from family and friends, making all the decisions, yelling, shouting, swearing, talking over you, the silent treatment, and constant interrupting.

Economic Abuse:

Can include preventing you from obtaining employment, withholding money, not letting you know about family income, putting all joint accounts solely in their name, making you ask for money, and giving you an allowance.

Technology Abuse:

Technology abuse is the use of technologies such as cell-phones, computers, and location technologies to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner.

Impact of Family Violence on Children:

Children exposed to domestic violence often experience lasting cognitive, emotional, psychological, and physical effects. It is important to understand the profound impact violence has on children, and the important role of the non-offending parent in healing the parent/child relationship. Click here to learn more.

The Cycle of Violence

Many victims experience domestic violence in 3 stages:

10-11-2013 2-47-30 PMThe tension building stage is characterized by poor communication, stress in the relationship, and fear of an outburst.
In the explosive stage, there is an outburst of violence or an abusive incident.
Finally, the reconciliation stage is characterized by affection, apology, and what seems to be the end of violence.

However, the reconciliation stage is rarely the end of violence. Inevitably the cycle continues, making it difficult for the victim to end the relationship.




Determining Risk Levels

“Several risk factors have been associated with increased risk of homicides (murders) of women and men in violent relationships. We cannot predict what will happen in your case, but we would like you to be aware of the danger of homicide in situations of abuse and for you to see how many of the risk factors apply to your situation.” Learn more about the assessment and evaluate your relationship here. The assessment was created using research into man on woman battering; however, it can be used to assess risk to male victims and in non-heterosexual relationships, as it is assumed similar factors influence an increased risk of lethality, regardless of partner genders/orientation.

Factors Increasing Risk of Lethality

  • Increase in physical violence severity or frequency.
  • Partner has choked/strangled you.
  • Partner owns a gun.
  • You have left after living with partner in the past year.
  • Partner is unemployed.
  • Partner has used a weapon against you or threatened you with a lethal weapon.
  • Partner has threatened to kill you.
  • Partner has avoided being arrested for domestic violence.
  • You have a child that is not his
  • Partner has forced you to have sex when you did not wish to do so.
  • Partner abuses substances (including alcohol).
  • Partner has control over most or all of your daily activities. For instance: telling you who you can be friends with, when you can see your family, how much money you can use, or when you can take the car/leave the house?
  • Partner is violently and constantly jealous.
  • You have been beaten by this partner while you were pregnant.
  • Partner has threatened or tried to commit suicide.
  • Partner has threatened to harm your children.
  • You believe your partner is capable of killing you.
  • Partner  follows or spies on you, leaves threatening notes or messages, destroys your property, shows up at your work/school, or calls you when you don’t want him to.

Read More About Male Victims/Survivors

Read More About Elder Abuse.

Read More About LGBTQ Victims/Survivors

Read More About Immigrant Victims/Survivors