COLUMBUS – State Rep. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) today gave sponsor testimony on House Bill 3, bipartisan legislation that will help reduce domestic violence by increasing support for victims, advancing preventative measures, and toughening penalties.
The bill, known as Aisha’s Law, was introduced after Aisha Fraser was repeatedly abused and eventually killed by her ex-husband in front of their small children.
“All Ohioans deserve to feel safe in their homes,” said Carruthers. “Incidents of domestic violence take place in every corner of Ohio and are in far greater numbers than often realized.”
In 2018, the Ohio Attorney General reported that there were a staggering 38,475 domestic violence incident (DVI) charges in the state of Ohio. Of those charges, 1,112 were in Butler County.
Provisions of the bill include:
- Allows law enforcement, with the consent of a domestic violence victim, to request an emergency protection order from a judge anytime the court is not open for regular business
- Requires the court to issue an emergency protection order if there is probable cause to believe that the victim is in immediate danger based on allegations of recent domestic violence incidents
- Expands the offense of domestic violence to include strangulation
- Makes an individual eligible for a charge of aggravated murder if the victim was a prior victim of domestic violence at the hand of the perpetrator
- Requires high risk victims of domestic violence to be referred to local or regional domestic violence advocacy services
- Provides funds for the training of law enforcement to use the newly mandated domestic violence risk assessment tool, which will evaluate both an offender’s risk of re-offending and a victim’s risk of lethal assault
- Creates a study committee on the prosecution of domestic violence cases
“Expanding protections for victims and holding perpetrators accountable will save lives and make our communities safer,” added Carruthers.
The legislation unanimously passed the Ohio House last year. It now awaits further hearings in the House Criminal Justice Committee.