Domestic violence bill headed to governor's desk would strengthen protection orders

Dozens of men walked in high heels in the Warehouse District. (Source: WOIO)
Dozens of men walked in high heels in the Warehouse District. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Domestic violence victims in Ohio will soon have another law on their side.

A new state bill would strengthen protection orders and how offenders are prosecuted. Ohio Senate Bill 7 will allow offenders to be prosecuted if they knowingly violate protection orders.

This bill is now headed to Gov. John Kasich's desk.

Advocates say this enforcement is really needed.

A lot of times, protection orders are a legal way to protect victims from their abusers. But right now offenders cannot be prosecuted if they knowingly violated a protection order.

State Sen. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) sponsored the bill that will change that. She says it closes loop holes in the current law.

Cleveland 19 caught up with Julie Legget with the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center to get her reaction. She was at a fundraiser in Cleveland on Thursday for domestic violence victims called "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes."

"Domestic violence is really about power and control. And not following that directive is just a way of more power and control. So the fact that they can be prosecuted for it is a huge victory in how we look at domestic violence," Legget said.

Men put on high heels Thursday evening to literally "walk a mile in her shoes" in the Warehouse District of Cleveland. They helped raise money to provide resources and support to victims.

Several men from a team with Ford showed they're "man enough" to walk a mile in her shoes.

"A little uncomfortable but I think we'll manage," said Chris Barnes.

"Women walk miles in them every day, it's my turn," said Kevin Heck.

Heck says the walk is a fun way to bring attention to a tough topic.

"A lot of people go unnoticed in the world and suffer. Here's an opportunity to hopefully make a little bit of a difference," he said.

According to the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, domestic violence affects one in four women here in the U. S. and one in seven men. The Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center pairs victims with advocates to help them get help.

They say the first step is knowing you have a place to turn to. You can call their 24-hour hotline at 216-691-HELP.

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