The legislature has recently voted to expand the definition of “domestic violence” in Ohio. Up until now, Ohio restricted the definition of domestic violence to include only relationships between family members and others who resided in the same household. Following a national trend that has been developing for nearly a decade, the new Ohio law extends rights and responsibilities to those in dating relationships, even if the two never shared the same residence.
According to the expansion of the law, victims of dating violence will be informed of their right to issue a civil protection order against a dating partner or former dating partner who has committed or threatened violence. Additionally, law enforcement will be required to inform victims of their rights under the law, and make services and shelters available that were once denied persons who did not share a family bond or residence.
Pamphlets listing the victims’ Bill of Rights will be made available to all victims of domestic violence as defined in the expanded law. The pamphlets will be distributed to agencies of law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, and organizations that provide services for crime victims. A detailed description of the victims’ rights will be included in the pamphlet and pertains to both adult and juvenile victims of domestic violence. These pamphlets shall be distributed to inform victims of their rights during any investigation or court proceedings.
The pamphlet shall include the new provision that victims of violence in a dating relationship can seek a civil protection order against the offender, and that such victims are entitled to have a victim’s advocate present at all court proceedings to provide them with support and assistance.
Domestic violence is defined to include any reckless act that causes bodily injury or threatens serious bodily harm, against any member of the same household or against a person in a dating relationship. A dating relationship is designated as one where the parties were in engaged in a romantic or intimate relationship either at the time of the alleged violence or within the year preceding the violent conduct.
If you have been accused of domestic violence or are a victim of domestic violence, give the offices of Dearie, Fischer & Mathews a call. We can make sure you are informed of your rights, and that those rights are preserved during any investigation or court proceeding.
To reach our offices in Lebanon, call (513) 932-5529; in Beavercreek call (937) 306-6402.
Serving Warren, Butler, Montgomery, and Greene counties and all of southwest Ohio.