Rep. Sykes Receives Outstanding Victim Service Award
Lawmaker awarded for efforts to protect victims of dating violence

State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) recently received the Rev. Dr. Robert Denton Outstanding Victim Service Award from the Victim Assistance Program, a local nonprofit that offers a multitude of services for individuals after victimization or trauma. The Rev. Dr. Robert Denton Outstanding Service award is given to an individual who has dedicated their work to assisting victims through criminal justice reform, legislation, medical, mental health and social work support.

“I greatly admire the work of the Summit County Victims Assistance program, and I am honored that they would consider me for this award,” said Sykes. “While I admire how far we’ve come, I am also reminded that our work isn’t done in Ohio. I look forward to continue working with lawmakers across the aisle to ensure the rights of victims of crime are upheld in our state.”

Sykes lead the charge to protect victims of dating and domestic violence in Ohio. House Bill (HB) 1, joint sponsored by Rep. Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville), will allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker, a protection not allowed under state law. Currently, Ohio and Georgia are the only two states that do not cover victims of dating violence under intimate partner violence laws.

This week, April 2-8, is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, observed to raise awareness and advocate for victims’ rights. The award was announced during the Victim Assistance Program’s annual Victims’ Rights Luncheon in Summit County. 

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