N.H. representative apologizes to anyone offended by domestic-abuse remarks

Last modified: 3/1/2013 12:24:11 AM
A state representative yesterday apologized to “those whom may have been offended” by remarks about domestic abuse he made a day earlier at a House committee meeting.

“It was never my intention to minimize the trauma of domestic abuse or in any way demean the victims. I find violence abhorrent,” said Rep. Mark Warden, a Republican who represents Deering, Goffstown and Weare, in a statement. “How the state gets involved in people’s personal lives is a topic that requires thoughtful debate and should not be reduced to sound bites. To those whom may have been offended, I offer my sincere apology.”

Warden, who is in his second term in the House, serves on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which on Tuesday discussed a bill that would reduce simple assault from a misdemeanor crime to a violation-level offense in some cases.

“Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It’s a love-hate relationship. It’s very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her. . . . Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law? I’d say no. People are always free to leave,” Warden said during the debate, according to a video provided by Granite State Progress, a liberal advocacy group.

The committee voted 16-4 to recommend the full House kill the simple-assault bill.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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