Current law defines domestic violence as occurring between spouses, ex-spouses, family members, those living together or parents. It leaves out boyfriends and girlfriends in dating relationships where the same patterns of abuse and violence often play out.
Dating violence can be physical, sexual or emotional, including hitting, shoving, choking; unwanted touching or pressure to have sex; being extremely controlling, threatening to harm self or others, stalking or using put downs and insults, according to the bill.
Related: Ohio lawmaker seeks change: In some cases ‘it’s legal to rape your spouse’
Abuse can start early. The 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated almost 12 percent of high school girls reported physical violence and nearly 16 percent reported sexual violence from a dating partner in the previous 12 months. Forty-three percent of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
The effort to extend civil protection orders to victims of dating violence started at least a decade ago.