October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
State officials say there were more than 41-thousand domestic violence related arrests in Ohio last year. That is down from 20-11, and advocates say they need more help from lawmakers to lower the number of arrests even further. But they say a bill on teen dating violence passed a few years ago is helping. Among other things, it allows for protective orders to be issued against accused abusers who are under 18. Johanna Orozco Fraser of Cleveland was shot in the face in 2007 by her teenage boyfriend – after she had reported he was stalking her.
Bridget Mahoney with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network says victims of abusers need more help, and she offers a few suggestions.
Advocates against domestic violence are now working on measures to strengthen protective orders, and to protect victims who sometimes lose housing or jobs because their abusers repeatedly show up to harass them. And they're also hoping for a bill to extend protective orders to pets, who they say are often held hostage in domestic violence situations.