State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today gave sponsor testimony before the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee on House Bill (HB) 3, also known as Aisha’s Law, to address high-risk and lethal domestic violence. 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.
“Today, I had the honor of testifying before the House Criminal Justice Committee on Aisha’s Law a second time, in this new General Assembly. This legislation represents over two years of interested party meetings with dozens of stakeholders, multiple redrafts, some very heartbreaking calls with survivors and advocates, eye-opening calls with various domestic violence policy experts across the country, and candid but unforgettable conversations with Aisha’s family” said Rep. Boyd.
“I promised Aisha’s family, friends, colleagues and students that I would leave no stone unturned in this legislation. This bill will not end domestic violence. It will, however, create a continuum of strengthened protections for survivors who are in the most lethal situations.”
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 awaits further hearings in House Criminal Justice 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.