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Bill to better protect domestic violence victims in Ohio introduced in Columbus

Aisha's Law was introduced by Democrat Janine Boyd, of Cleveland Heights

(WKBN) - At the Statehouse in Columbus on Tuesday, a bill was introduced to better protect victims of domestic violence.

It's being called Aisha's Law after Aisha Fraser, the wife of a former Cleveland-area judge and ex-state lawmaker who's accused of murdering her.

The bill was introduced by Democrat Janine Boyd, of Cleveland Heights. Aisha Fraser lived in her district.

Boyd thought the bill was needed after other constituents asked for more protections against domestic violence.

The bill has three parts:

  • After an incident, a victim would be provided a questionnaire so police can assess the level of danger. This is called a lethality assessment.
  • The victim and perpetrator would be referred to a committee, which would connect them to rehab or housing.
  • It will prohibit offenders from pleading down when they have prior violent felony convictions.

Attorney Andrea Burton, with Community Legal Aid, said she already uses the lethality assessment.

"When I'm looking at whether this is a case that I can dedicate resources to -- because all of them are ones I want to help on but the ones that truly need my help -- we look at the lethality assessment to say, 'Yes, this victim definitely needs representation because this abuser is dangerous.'"

Last year, Community Legal Aid handled 213 domestic violence cases in Mahoning County, 59 in Trumbull County and 34 in Columbiana County.

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