COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lawmakers at the Ohio Statehouse have reintroduced "Aisha’s Law," which looks to help domestic violence victims.

It would let the attorney general adopt rules requiring evidence-based lethality assessment screening tools in peace officer training. State Rep. Sara Carruthers is teaming up with State Rep. Juanita Brent to reintroduce this proposal. They believe it will help law enforcement agencies better respond to domestic violence cases in Ohio. 

What You Need To Know

  • Aisha's Law is legislation that looks to help law enforcement agencies better respond to domestic violence cases

  • This is the third time they have introduced this bill to the legislature, its sponsors said

  • The bipartisan legislation is named after Aisha Fraser, a former teacher who was killed by her former husband in 2018

The proposal is named for Aisha Fraser, who lost her life in a severe domestic violence incident from her former husband Lance Mason in 2018. Prior to the crime, he served in the general assembly and worked as a judge. The sponsors of the legislation said several women face dangerous situations each day. According to the 2023 Ohio Domestic Violence Network's Fatality Report, Ohio lost 112 people to domestic violence in the year ending June 30, 2023. 

"Far too many individuals continue to be abused and live in fear," Carruthers said. "That is why it is so critical that we pass House Bill 486 and make Ohio a safer place to let victims know that we care about them and that there is hope." 

According to the proposal, it would also call for police officers to adopt rules and procedures for officers to use an assessment screening tool where they can determine if the case should be referred to domestic violence advocacy services. It includes training for officers and a new temporary emergency protective order a person can request outside of the court’s normal business hours. Sponsors of the legislation say $150,000 will be allocated for specialized training. 

"The legislation requires officers who handle domestic violence complaints to have intervention, technique, training that can connect survivors of domestic violence to advocacy programs," Carruthers said. 

"If this bill becomes law," said Maria York, the policy director at the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. "Our program stands ready to help communities use risk assessment tools effectively. It is also timely that one year after Ohio's felony strangulation law went into effect, that Aisha's Law will be reintroduced with language that would strengthen our response to strangulation offenses." 

Brent was a friend of Aisha's and believes if legislation like this previously existed, it could have saved a life. 

"The difference of this legislation can be made in people's homes, make a difference in people's lives, how we're supporting the police departments because they need the support of the training," Brent said.

A portion that was included in the original bill text cleared the legislature separately last year to make strangulation illegal in Ohio. House Bill 486 is currently awaiting to be assigned to a committee for testimony.