Bipartisan bill to modernize state domestic violence laws clears Ohio House
Ohio could join 48 states in protecting victims of dating violence under HB 1
COLUMBUS— State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the House passage of House Bill (HB) 1, her bipartisan legislation to modernize Ohio's domestic violence laws. Joint-sponsored by Rep. Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville), HB 1 will allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker, a protection currently allowed in every state except Ohio and Georgia. "For far too long, Ohio's antiquated domestic violence laws have left thousands of Ohioans vulnerable to dating violence," said Sykes. "My colleagues and I agree: it is past time to pull Ohio out of the dark ages and join the rest of the country in protecting victims of abuse. I am pleased we were able to put come together in a bipartisan manner to help bring Ohio's domestic violence protections into the 21St Century." The National Dating Violence Hotline defines intimate partner violence, which includes dating violence, as a repetitive pattern of behaviors — including physical or sexual violence, threats, intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation — used to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Current Ohio law only recognizes domestic violence as violence occurring between spouses, those cohabiting or family members. HB 1 will include individuals in ongoing, substantial, intimate and romantic relationships under Ohio's definition, providing those victims access to essential protection. "Every Ohioan deserves equal protection under the law in the face of domestic violence, regardless of their relationship status," said House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). "I applaud this institution and my colleagues for coming together to lead this bipartisan effort to modernize Ohio's domestic violence laws and protect vulnerable Ohioans." Women aged 18 to 24 face the highest rates of intimate partner violence. In the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds. HB 1 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.