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Dating violence protection bill passes House with 92-2 vote

(February 28, 2017) — Victims of dating violence would get the ability to obtain civil-protection orders under a bill approved Tuesday by the Ohio House, 92-2.

But now the measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where it has died before.

House Bill 1 would allow dating abuse survivors the freedom to reside in domestic-violence shelters and obtain the same protection orders victims of domestic violence can. It would also require the Ohio attorney general’s victim’s bill of rights pamphlet to include a notice of the changes.

“While other victims who experience violence in their relationships gain protection, victims of dating violence do not, because they have not married their abuser, they have not had a child with their abuser and they have not lived with their abuser,” said sponsor Emilia Sykes, D-Akron.

The Centers for Diseast Control “estimates that nearly 25 percent of women and 7 percent of men experience intimate partner violence during some point in their lives,” she said.

The bill’s two dissenters: GOP Reps. Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati and Nino Vitale of Urbana.

The bill previously made it through the House twice, both times unanimously. However, while being considered by the Senate last year, it was attached to another bill aimed at strengthening protection orders. Both died on the floor during lame-duck session.

“The Senate members certainly support protecting victims of dating violence and look forward to a thorough discussion on House Bill 1,” Senate Press Secretary John Fortney said.

He added that since the bill had come through so much earlier in the season, compared with last year’s General Assembly, the Senate will have more time to properly vet it before voting.

House Bill 34, which would authorize certain state agencies, local governments and other boards, commissions and officers to deliver notices by ordinary mail and electronically, versus certified mail, also passed the House without dissent Tuesday, 92-0.