This week, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) joined advocates and activists at the Ohio Statehouse for a rally in support of domestic violence victims and stronger domestic violence laws that other states have adopted, such as Florida and Connecticut.
“We all need to be protected when someone is hurting us,” Fedor said. “The courts need to start listening to victims and believe them the first time. The state needs to reimagine our domestic violence laws and invest in shelters for families that even allow our beloved family pets.”
Fedor was joined by other anti-domestic violence advocates and family members of victims, including the family of Paulette Propst, an Ohio woman who was killed in 2011 by her estranged husband when he violated a protection order. Her family continues to advocate for increased electronic monitoring requirements for domestic violence offenders.
“I am very encouraged by the turnout and support we saw here. I am extremely hopeful that this General Assembly, we can finally address this problem,” said Albert Propst, Paulette’s son.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have exacerbated many domestic violence situations in households across the state. A recent annual report from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network revealed 109 Ohioans died as the result of domestic violence in the year ending June 30, 2020 – a 35% increase from the year prior.
“We know our domestic violence statistics are going in the wrong direction because of Covid-19,” Fedor said. “The stress of job loss, hurdles to receiving unemployment and looming evictions have created high tensions in many homes, creating a perfect storm for domestic violence. All levels of government have a role to play in solving this problem, and I promise to do my part, because this is the difference between life and death.”
Watch Senator Fedor’s remarks here