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Ohio House passes bill strengthening domestic violence law

The Ohio House voted 94-0 last week in favor of making sweeping changes to the state’s domestic violence law to better protect victims from further abuse (Source: “Ohio House moves to strengthen domestic violence law,” Dayton Daily News, May 20, 2020).

Advocates for House Bill 3 say it will establish a better system for identifying when high-risk domestic violence situations could escalate. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Sara Carruthers and Democrat Rep. Janine Boyd, calls for expanding domestic violence to include strangulation of a family or household member; creating a new protection order for domestic violence victims that law enforcement can request when courts are closed; requiring police departments to connect high-risk victims to help programs and use lethality assessment screening tools; requesting the supreme court review evidence rules to consider changes that may help victims; and increasing police officer training in intervention techniques.

According to data from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, there were 38,475 domestic violence incidents last year in Ohio.