House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and state Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today joined Gov. Mike DeWine for his latest executive order signing, which strengthens protections for domestic violence victims by including intimate partner violence, or dating violence, in state agency directives and guidelines.
“Dating violence is domestic violence, and anything we can do to protect victims from their abusers will save lives,” said Sykes. “I’m encouraged by Governor DeWine’s executive order today to make protecting victims of dating violence a priority in our state.”
During the 132nd General Assembly, Sykes sponsored House Bill (HB) 1, a bill allowing victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attackers. HB 1 was signed into law in 2018.
Prior Ohio law did not allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protection orders because these relationships did not fit the definition of domestic violence.
HB 1 now includes individuals in dating relationships under Ohio’s definition of domestic violence for the purpose of obtaining a civil protection order, gaining access to battered women’s shelters, and being included in the Attorney General’s victim’s bill of rights.
"I've seen the toll our domestic violence epidemic is taking on the families and children of our state,” said state Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights). “Too many families and loved ones have been forced to wonder whether more lives could have been protected, including the life of Aisha Fraser of my district. I am grateful I had the chance to support the work of Leader Sykes, and I am honored to stand with Governor DeWine today, in a combined effort to continue to expand protections for all victims of domestic violence.”
The National Dating Violence Hotline defines intimate partner violence, which includes dating violence, as a repetitive pattern of behaviors – including physical or sexual violence, threats, intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation – used to maintain power and control over an intimate partner.