State Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, started working on extending domestic violence protections to victims of dating violence in 2015. On Thursday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 1 into law that will allow dating violence victims to get civil protection orders. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO.

Domestic violence laws expanded in Ohio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 1 into law on Thursday. It will take effect in 90 days.

State Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, a primary sponsor of the bill, said the bill “sends a message to victims that we are with you, we will protect you and we will not let you go through this alone. But it also sends a message to abusers that we will not tolerate this type of behavior in this state.”

Related: Victims of dating violence get new protections in Ohio

Ohio and Georgia are the only states that don’t extend the same protections afforded to victims of domestic violence to victims of dating violence, Sykes said.

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.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X