Story By: Nevin Smith
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)- The Ohio House of Representatives announced today the passage of a domestic violence protection bill. House Bill 3, also known as Aisha’s Law provides extra protection for victims of domestic violence. The bill is named after Aisha Fraser, a woman who was repeatedly abused and eventually murdered by her ex-husband in front of their children.
The bill passed the house 94-0 as a bipartisan bill. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Janine Boyd (D- Cleveland Heights) and State Representative Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton).
Carruthers said, “This bill is a huge step forward in ensuring that victims of domestic violence have the protections they need and are provided the tools to feel safe when it seems like all is lost.”
Some of the protections of the bill include:
- Allows law enforcement, with the consent of a domestic violence victim, to request an emergency protection order from a judge anytime the court is not open for regular business;
- Requires the court to issue an emergency protection order if there is probable cause to believe that the victim is in immediate danger based on allegations of recent domestic violence incidents;
- Expands the offense of domestic violence to include strangulation;
- Makes an individual eligible for a charge of aggravated murder if the victim was a prior victim of domestic violence at the hand of the perpetrator;
- Requires high risk victims of domestic violence to be referred to local or regional domestic violence advocacy services;
- Provides funds for the training of law enforcement to use the newly mandated domestic violence risk assessment tool, which will evaluate both an offender’s risk of re-offending and a victim’s risk of lethal assault;
- Creates a study committee on the prosecution of domestic violence cases
Carruthers continued, “As a joint sponsor of the bill, I am incredibly proud of the passage of Aisha’s Law.”
The Ohio Attorney General reported 38.475 charges related to domestic violence in 2018. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been increased concerns about domestic violence as victims may be stuck with abusers during the lockdown. The bill now heads to the Senate.