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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Lawmaker Confident ‘Aisha’s Law’ Will See Progress In Columbus

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) with fellow Democratic House and Senate members. [Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau]
Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) with fellow Democratic House and Senate members.

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) says her high-profile domestic violence bill is gaining momentum in the Ohio House. The bipartisan legislation known as "Aisha's Law" looks to overhaul the way communities and law enforcement respond to reports of assault.

Boyd said she and other interested parties have been working on making slight changes to the bill in order to offset concerns voiced by opponents. Changes include adding more input from the Ohio Supreme Court.

The bill requires police to conduct a lethality assessment of alleged victims of domestic violence. That screening would determine if the victim and offender need to be connected to programs that assist in high-risk situations.

Cases of domestic violence tend to escalate with each incident, she said, and “Aisha’s Law” will help monitor the situation before another potential violent act could occur.

"It’s changing the thinking and seeing victims more clearly, and hearing them," Boyd said.

The bill is named after Aisha Fraser, who was killed by her ex-husband and former state lawmaker Lance Mason. Mason had a prior conviction for assaulting Fraser.

"Aisha's Law” would overhaul the way the communities and law enforcement can intervene on domestic violence cases, Boyd said.

"To create a continuum where every point where the victim is touched or chooses to pursue support or help or assistance that those points are strengthened and it just requires that everybody does something slightly different," Boyd said.

The Ohio Public Defender’s Office and the ACLU have offered opposition to earlier drafts of the bill. No word yet on if the changes have caused either group to change its position.

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