(WJW) — The Anti-strangulation Law, or Senate Bill 288, passed the Ohio House early Thursday morning, according to Ohio Senator Nickie Antonia (D-Lakewood).
The bill was amended to include Antonia’s SB 90, which creates the offense of strangulation in the Ohio Revised Code.
According to a press release from Antonia’s office, Ohio is currently the only state where strangulation is only a misdemeanor charge for abusers who are convicted.
“I have always believed this was unacceptable for such a heinous crime. Strangulation can cause injury to the brain resulting in permanent damage, and even without externally visible injuries, a victim can die weeks after being strangled from internal injuries,” Antonio said. “This legislation will bring Ohio up to speed with the rest of the country, save lives and send a clear message that domestic violence of any kind in our state will not be tolerated.”
If signed into law, SB 288 prohibits anyone from impeding normal breathing or circulation of blood by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by covering the nose and mouth.
SB 288 would make penalties for strangulation range from a fifth-degree felony to a second-degree felony, depending on the level of physical harm caused to the victim.
According to the release, more than a million women in the United States are physically assaulted by an intimate partner every year and more than one in three women in the United States will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime.
According to the Strangulation Training Institute, women who have been strangled by their partners are 750% more likely to be murdered than domestic violence victims who have not experienced strangulation, the release said.
Senate Bill 288 will now head to the office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for his signature.