Boggs Supports Legislation To Close Domestic Violence Loophole
Bipartisan legislation will increase strangulation offense to third degree felony
May 27, 2016
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COLUMBUS— State Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 362, bipartisan legislation to close a domestic violence loophole by making strangulation a felony offense of the third degree. Non-fatal strangulation is typically charged as a misdemeanor assault in Ohio. 

Before being sworn in as a member of the 131st General Assembly, Rep. Boggs oversaw the legal unit of Ohio Attorney General's Crime Victims Section, and expressed the need for strangulation to be a criminal offense, distinct from assault, while HB 362 was being drafted in the Ohio House. 

"We know that a victim of strangulation is seven times more likely to be killed by the offender at a later incident." Said Boggs. "It is essential for the victim's safety that the offender faces a criminal charge that reflects the seriousness of the crime." 

Due to the nature of strangulation, 50 percent of victims that survive the incident do not show any visible external physical  injuries. Many of these violent acts are the result of domestic disputes, creating extremely difficult and emotional turmoil between family members. This makes it difficult for law enforcement to assess the ongoing risk of danger, or risk of death, for the victims.  

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and former State Representative, and now Columbus City Councilman, Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus). 

“By increasing the penalty for strangulation from a misdemeanor to a felony, this legislation will align Ohio law with a majority of states and will keep the abuser away so that the victim can get the help and the safety they need,” Stinziano said. “I am proud of my collaboration with Rep. Kunze and the leadership of Rep. Boggs to get this important legislation through the House and onto the Senate.” 

If HB 362 is passed, Ohio will join 35 other states across the nation to make strangulation a felony offense of the third degree.

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