What is the legal definition of domestic violence in New Hampshire?
This section defines abuse (domestic violence) for the purposes of getting a protective order.
According to New Hampshire law, “abuse” happens when a family or household member, or current or former sexual or intimate partner commits or tries to commit one of the following crimes against you and the behavior causes a present threat to the your safety:
- reckless conduct;
- criminal threatening;
- sexual assault;
- criminal restraint or kidnapping you;
- false imprisonment
- criminal mischief (destruction of property) or arson;
- criminal trespass or burglary;
- harassment; or
- cruelty to animals.
Note: Even if the abuser committed one (or more) of these acts against you a long time before you filed your petition, the judge can still consider these older acts if, in combination with the abuser’s recent conduct, they show an ongoing pattern of behavior which reasonably causes (or has caused) you to fear for your safety or well-being.1 Also, if you and the abuser reconciled (got back together) after a previous protective order and prior to filing the current petition, the judge cannot use this fact as a reason to deny you a new order or terminate an existing protective order.2
If you do not believe that your situation fits into what is described above, you may want to read our Stalking Protective Orders page.
1 N.H. Rev. Stat § 173-B:1(I)
2 N.H. Rev. Stat § 173-B:5(III)