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Aisha's Law, legislation to protect those at risk of domestic violence, passes out of House Criminal Justice Committee

October 21, 2021
Janine R. Boyd News

COLUMBUS-State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 3, better known as Aisha’s Law, out of the House Criminal Justice Committee. Aisha’s Law would improve how law enforcement agencies respond to domestic violence cases and provides added protections for those in high-risk situations. 

“I’m proud to sponsor such a comprehensive piece of policy that aims to lift the voices of those too long undervalued or ignored. Nothing prepared me for the way Aisha’s story and the stories of other survivors have changed me. I am extraordinarily grateful to the members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice for unanimously passing Aisha’s Law out of committee this morning, bringing us closer to no longer being the only state without a strangulation law. Aisha’s Law will strengthen protections for survivors and provide a way out for those who are in the most deadly situations. We are one step closer to honoring Aisha’s life and light, and so many others,” said Boyd.

HB 3 was initially unveiled as bipartisan priority legislation in the 133rd General Assembly, and was passed by the Ohio House on May 20, 2020. Aisha’s Law is named after Aisha Fraser, who was brutally killed on Nov. 17, 2018 by her ex-husband Lance Mason following years of domestic violence. 

Aisha’s Law would: 

·         Expand the definition of “domestic violence” to include strangulation;

·         Create a new temporary emergency protection order that an individual can request outside of the court’s normal business hours;

·         Require police agencies to adopt rules and procedures for law enforcement officers to screen victims of domestic violence using an evidence-based lethality assessment screening tool to determine if the case should be referred to local or regional domestic violence advocacy services; 

·         Require the Ohio Attorney General to adopt rules to require every peace officer and trooper who handles domestic violence complaints to complete biennial professional training that includes, among other items, the referral of high risk victims to a local or regional domestic violence advocacy service;

·         Require law enforcement to inform victims of an alleged strangulation the medical dangers of strangulation and urge them to seek medical attention; 

·         Increase domestic violence circumstances to the offense of aggravated murder;

·         Request the Ohio Supreme Court review the Ohio Rules of Evidence to consider how the Rules may better aid victims of domestic violence without diminishing the fundamental fairness to alleged perpetrators of domestic violence;

·         Create the Domestic Violence Drop Policy Study Committee to examine policies to protect domestic violence victims throughout the judicial process; 

·         Allocate $150,000 to the Police Officers’ Training Academy Fee for the purpose of training police officers on how to respond to domestic violence calls. 

Aisha’s Law now awaits further hearings in the House Finance committee. 

If you are a survivor of domestic violence looking for resources and referrals in Ohio, you can visit ODVN.org or call 614-781-9651.

If you are in an emergency, call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.