Domestic abuse is not necessarily one isolated incident but rather a series of incidents that create a pattern of violence.
Currently under Maine law there is no such crime as ":domestic assault": to track these types of cases.
Wednesday, lawmakers discussed two domestic violence bills, one, which would make domestic assault a crime and punishable by law.
If Maine did pass the bill it would be the first of its kind in the nation.
Under existing law, crimes used to prosecute domestic violence such as criminal threatening, terrorizing or any violation of a protective order could not be used to show a history of domestic abuse.
However, Senate President Beth Edmonds has introduced legislation that would allow prosecutors to take into account past convictions involving domestic violence.
It would create a class D crime of domestic violence on certain criminal offenses against a person who is a family or household member.
Dozens of proponents of the bill spoke before the criminal justice and public safety committee to back the bill.
Representative Deborah Simpson also presented a bill which would determine the predominant Aggressor in domestic violence situations.
The Maine Women’s lobby is in support of both proposals and brought some statistics to the committee.