State Reps. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine R. Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Ohio. Advocates with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network today gathered to present an annual report of Ohio Domestic Fatality Data at a press conference in the state capitol.
“We must remember the women, children and family members victimized by domestic violence,” said Antonio. “I join the Ohio Domestic Violence Network in working on public policy responses that can reduce and eventually prevent the all too frequent tragedies we see as a result of domestic violence.”
Earlier this year, State Reps. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine R. Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) introduced legislation aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence from gun violence by requiring individuals convicted of a domestic violence crime or served with a civil protection order to turn over their firearms to law enforcement.
“We know that too many domestic violence cases end in murder, and adding a gun increases that probability. As legislators, advocates, friends and family members who represent and love the victims and the abusers, looking the other way is not an option,” said Boyd. “When an abuser is at risk of shooting his or her victim, the constitutionally protected right to bear arms cannot preclude us from protecting the victim's right to live. We cannot take a bullet back once it's exploded inside a mother, a wife, or a girlfriend, but we can take the firearm away from the abuser, before the bullet has a chance. If we don't, we fail every victim and every community.”
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week to end violence against women and their children. In 1989, the U.S. Congress designated October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.