Domestic Violence

Stop Domestic Violence RibbonIn Ohio law, domestic violence can be charged whenever there is physical harm, or the attempt to cause physical harm, to a family or household member. A family member is anyone you are related to as a blood relative or their spouse, and anyone who is a blood relative or spouse of anyone living in your household, or who has ever lived in your household. A household member is anyone who is living with you or has ever resided with you. Domestic Violence Laws fall under section 2919.25 of the Ohio revised code which reads as follows:

Domestic Violence 2919.25

  • (A) No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member.
  • (B) No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member.
  • (C) No person, by the threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.
  • (D)
    • (1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of domestic violence, and the court shall sentence the offender as provided in divisions (D)(2) to (6) of this section.
    • (2) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (D)(3) to (5) of this section, a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, and a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
    • (3) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4) of this section, if the offender previously has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of domestic violence, a violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially similar to domestic violence, a violation of section 2903.14, 2909.06, 2909.07, 2911.12, 2911.211, or 2919.22 of the Revised Code if the victim of the violation was a family or household member at the time of the violation, a violation of an existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially similar to any of those sections if the victim of the violation was a family or household member at the time of the commission of the violation, or any offense of violence if the victim of the offense was a family or household member at the time of the commission of the offense, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree, and, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
    • (4) If the offender previously has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of two or more offenses of domestic violence or two or more violations or offenses of the type described in division (D)(3) of this section involving a person who was a family or household member at the time of the violations or offenses, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree, and, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
    • (5) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(3) or (4) of this section, if the offender knew that the victim of the violation was pregnant at the time of the violation, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree, and the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to division (D)(6) of this section, and a violation of division (C) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
    • (6) If division (D)(3), (4), or (5) of this section requires the court that sentences an offender for a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section to impose a mandatory prison term on the offender pursuant to this division, the court shall impose the mandatory prison term as follows:
      • (a) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth or fifth degree, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(6)(b) or (c) of this section, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of at least six months.
      • (b) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of twelve months.
      • (c) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of at least twelve months.
      • (d) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(6)(e) of this section and notwithstanding the range of definite prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for a felony of the third degree, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of either a definite term of six months or one of the prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3)(b) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for felonies of the third degree.
      • (e) If the violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree and the offender, in committing the violation, caused serious physical harm to the pregnant woman's unborn or caused the termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy, notwithstanding the range of definite prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for a felony of the third degree, the court shall impose a mandatory prison term on the offender of either a definite term of one year or one of the prison terms prescribed in division (A)(3)(b) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code for felonies of the third degree.
  • (E) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no court or unit of state or local government shall charge any fee, cost, deposit, or money in connection with the filing of charges against a person alleging that the person violated this section or a municipal ordinance substantially similar to this section or in connection with the prosecution of any charges so filed.
  • (F) As used in this section and sections 2919.251 and 2919.26 of the Revised Code:
    • (1) "Family or household member" means any of the following:
      • (a) Any of the following who is residing or has resided with the offender:
        • (i) A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the offender
        • (ii) A parent, a foster parent, or a child of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to the offender
        • (iii) A parent or a child of a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, a person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the offender.
      • (b) The natural parent of any child of whom the offender is the other natural parent or is the putative another natural parent.
    • (2) "Person living as a spouse" means a person who is living or has lived with the offender in a common-law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the offender, or who otherwise has cohabited with the offender within five years prior to the date of the alleged commission of the act in question.
    • (3) "Pregnant woman's unborn" has the same meaning as "such other person's unborn," as set forth in section 2903.09 of the Revised Code, as it relates to the pregnant woman. Division (C) of that section applies regarding the use of the term in this section, except that the second and third sentences of division (C)(1) of that section shall be construed for purposes of this section as if they included a reference to this section in the listing of Revised Code sections they contain.
    • (4) "Termination of the pregnant woman's pregnancy" has the same meaning as "unlawful termination of another's pregnancy," as set forth in section 2903.09 of the Revised Code, as it relates to the pregnant woman. Division (C) of that section applies regarding the use of the term in this section, except that the second and third sentences of division (C)(1) of that section shall be construed for purposes of this section as if they included a reference to this section in the listing of Revised Code sections they contain.

Arrest Policy

In general, police officers are directed to make an arrest for claims of domestic violence unless special circumstances exist. This is to protect the victims of domestic abuse.

Appropriate Discipline of a Child

To clarify a matter of misconception, it should be stated that the appropriate discipline of a child is not domestic violence. However, excessive or unusual punishment may be considered abuse and would be handled as a very serious matter.

Domestic Violence Victims

Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups, all ages, and all religions. They can be male or female, and children or adults. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.

Are You Abused

Does the person you love do any of the following:

  • Anger easily when drinking or using drugs
  • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful
  • Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend
  • Criticize you for little things
  • Destroy personal property or sentimental items
  • Discourage your relationships with family and friends
  • Force you to have sex against your will
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick or bite you or the children
  • Humiliate you in front of others
  • Prevent you from working or attending school
  • Threaten to hurt you or the children
  • Track all of your time
  • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you

If you can say yes to any of these behaviors, it's time to get help.