Family violence

Strickland calls for reforming state’s domestic violence laws

In response to a Columbus Dispatch investigation into domestic violence in Ohio, Gov. Ted Strickland announced that he favors a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening Ohio laws aimed a punishing domestic abusers (Source: “Strickland vows to punish domestic abusers,” Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 20, 2009).

This week the Dispatch published a series of articles after a four-month investigation into domestic violence in Ohio.

Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, and Democratic House Speaker Armond Budish of Beachwood both announced that they, too, would support measures aimed at reducing domestic violence.

Through support from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio has continued work on its Family Violence Prevention Initiative — noting that it is an issue with significant implications for the health of individuals and families. HPIO is undertaking a second phase of research and analysis of family violence prevention, building on the work started with its 2007 white paper Improving Family Violence Prevention. In early 2010 HPIO will be releasing profiles of family violence in all 88 Ohio counties and will be sharing its findings at a series of regional forums.

Family violence summit to be held in Newark

Those interested in preventing family violence in Ohio will have the opportunity to hear from nationally recognized experts on the subject, and receive training from those responsible for Ohio-based prevention programs, at a two-day summit scheduled for Oct. 27 and 28 in Newark.

Titled Prevention in Progress, the event “is unique in that it will provide a collective forum for stakeholders in child abuse, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse to join together to address preventing perpetration before it may occur,” according to the Web site for the summit. “The Summit will incorporate technology, interactive teaching, and will incorporate local data to engage and empower Ohio communities and social service organizations for greater impact.”
Among the speakers at the event is Kenneth Steinman, PhD, who authored the Health Policy Institute of Ohio’s White Paper on Family Violence Prevention and related publications.

The Summit will be held at the Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark. Further details and registration information is available at the Prevention in Progress Web site.

Akron Children's Hospital gets $800k in stimulus funds to treat abuse victims

Akron Children’s Hospital has been given $882,550 in federal stimulus funds to expand services that evaluate children who are victims of sexual, physical or emotional abuse (Source: “Akron Children's Hospital to expand services for young abuse victims using federal stimulus money,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sept. 3, 2009).

The hospital’s Children at Risk Evaluation Center currently evaluates children who are referred by private doctors, law enforcement and other agencies, but will now be able to offer longer-term treatment.

"Children who are victims of abuse carry the psychological and sociological trauma throughout their lives," Dr. Daryl Steiner, director of CARE, said in a prepared statement. "Early intervention minimizes the long-term effects of the child's victimization."

The hospital was one of 14 organizations to be given the two-year stimulus grant through the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ohio House passes teen violence bill

A bill allowing juvenile court judges to issue protection order in cases of teen violence was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Ohio House (Source: “Bill to reduce teen violence gets OK,” Toledo Blade, June 25, 2009).

Current state law allows only judges in adult court to issue orders of protection.

"Research shows that over 50 percent of teens report knowing someone involved in a violent relationship, and more and more evidence points to adult domestic-violence victims having a history of violent relationships starting when they were teens," the bill's sponsor, Rep. Edna Brown (D., Toledo), said.

The bill permits someone to seek a protection order in juvenile court against a person under the age of 18 who has committed assault, menacing, stalking, aggravated trespass, and a sexually oriented offense.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where it didn't advance last year despite getting similar overwhelming support in the House. Brown said a few changes have been made to satisfy critics in the Senate, including the addition of language making it easier to have the records of a protection order expunged when the subject reaches the age of 18.

Columbus group to host national family violence conference

The Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence has announced that it will be hosting its first national conference on family violence (Source: “National domestic-violence conference set,” Columbus Dispatch, March 17, 2009).

The event, titled “Innovation through Collaboration: Building a Community Response to Family Violence,” is scheduled to run from April 29 to May 1 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. Organizers say they expect as many as 500 experts on family violence to attend the event. The focus of the conference will be presenting information on five areas of the community in which victims of violence might reach out for help: business, faith, health care, legal services and victim services.

To register or obtain more information, call 614-273-1400 or go to