State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today announces House Bill (HB) 1, her bipartisan legislation to modernize Ohio’s domestic violence laws, will officially become law tomorrow, Friday, July 6. HB 1 will allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker, a protection currently allowed in every state except Ohio and Georgia.
“I am thrilled that House Bill 1 will become law tomorrow,” Sykes said. “By working together with advocates, survivors and fellow lawmakers, we have closed this outdated loophole in Ohio that will not only help victims to live without fear of their abuser, but also save lives.”
“After a long and arduous process, I am excited to see House Bill 1 finally go into effect on Friday. More importantly, I am relieved to know that victims of dating violence in my community will now have a better course of action to aid in protecting them from their abusers,” Mickey Valdez of the Victim Assistance Program said. “I am honored to have been asked by Rep. Sykes to join her on this quest to improve the lives of all Ohioans.”
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.
“Victims of dating violence had few protections under the law prior to the passing of House Bill 1. I want to thank House Minority Whip Emilia Sykes for making House Bill 1 a priority,” said Judge Ron Cable.
Prior to HB 1’s passage, 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 mention in the Attorney General’s victim’s bill of rights.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse you can find help locally at Victim Assistance Program of Summit County at 330-376-0040 or at https://victimassistanceprogram.org/ or statewide at Action Ohio at 1-800-799-7233 or via the web http://www.actionohio.org/