Public Policy and Systems Advocacy

ODVN supports legislation and policy initiatives that foster change in our economic, social, and political systems and are consistent with our mission to advance the principles that all people have the right to an oppression and violence-free life. ODVN does not support legislation or policy initiatives that jeopardize or complicate the path to safety for domestic violence victims or further marginalize survivors of any group.

More than 70 advocates gathered at the Riffe Center for Advocacy Day on March 23, 2023. Gov. DeWine included $20 million for domestic violence services in his proposed budget, but the legislature has the final say. Advocates met with 40 legislators to urge them to keep the funding in the budget, after hearing remarks from six of our legislative champions as well as Christa Hullaby, a survivor who told the crowd how Artemis Center in Dayton helped her escape her abuse.

Click on each section to learn more.

Legislative Priorities 2023-2024

Increasing Funding for Domestic Violence Shelters and Community Programs 

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) is requesting a $20 million total allocation for the biennium to the Domestic Violence line item in the FY 2024-2025 budget to sustain our programs and allow them to serve more survivors seeking help. 

Reducing Domestic Violence Fatalities

ODVN supports efforts to incorporate domestic violence risk assessment tools, such as evidence-based lethality assessment screenings, into local communities’ responses to domestic violence. The proposed legislation should include funding for training for law enforcement officers and require officers to refer survivors to our member programs.

Enhancing Child Safety

ODVN supports efforts to create a safer, more child-centered process for children and their families in family court, especially for marginalized survivors who already experience systemic barriers to obtaining safety.

Legislative Newsletters

August 2023July 2023June 2023April 2023March 2023

135th Ohio General Assembly (2023-2024) Tracked Bills

ODVN monitors the progress of bills that affect domestic violence survivors and their children in the Ohio Legislature. Use this legislative tracker as a resource to stay informed:

Federal Policy Issues

ODVN and our member programs follow the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s lead on federal policy issues. Read more about federal policy priorities, legislative history, and recommendations to the current Administration.

Systems Advocacy

ODVN is a lead partner on and provides staff and consultant expertise to, the OVC-funded multi-component initiative, Linking Systems of Care for Ohio’s Youth (LSCOY) project, awarded to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The project, represented by 76 key Ohio stakeholder organizations, has three main objectives. These objectives include accurately identifying young Ohio victims of traumatic crimes in a wide range of settings; effectively linking the youth to high-quality, trauma-informed resources in or near their community; and building capacity and alignment with, and linking, youth-serving systems at the state level to increase leveraging of resources.

For more information, resources, tools, and links on healing for youth exposed to violence, please visit our new website.

Advocacy Days & Domestic Violence Awareness Month
2023 Spring Advocacy Days

FY24-25 Line Item

2021 Spring Advocacy Days

On Thursday, March 4, 2021, Micaela Deming testified before the House Finance Committee about increasing state support for ODVN’s member programs. Click the thumbnail below to view the full video of her testimony.

ODVN’s Spring Advocacy Day event included remarks from six of ODVN legislative champions and three program directors.

October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Click here to learn more about Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Firearms and Domestic Violence

When abusers have access to firearms, the lives of domestic violence victims and their families are in danger. Abusers use firearms to control, threaten, and murder their victims, and in a staggering amount of domestic violence-related homicides in Ohio, firearms are the primary weapon of choice. In ODVN’s 2021-2022 fatality report, gun violence as the manner of death made up 91% of the victim fatalities. 

For more information on domestic violence and firearms please visit: 

Voting and Privacy

Safe at Home (SAH) Program 

Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program that provides a substitute address for participants. By law, a state of Ohio governmental entity must accept the substitute address at the program participant’s request. Safe at Home program participants may register to vote with a confidential voter registration record. The registration information of a program participant with a confidential voter registration record will not be accessible to the public. For more information on how to obtain a Safe at Home address, please visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website on the Safe at Home program.

Want to Get Involved?

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Every voice counts! Join us in supporting or opposing legislation, creating awareness of issues, and magnifying our message.

Anonymous Survivor Story Submission

We recognize that survivor voices are vital to creating effective systemic change. While every situation is different, we want to ensure that your public speaking opportunity is as safe and informative as possible. If you are in current litigation, please consult with your attorney before speaking publicly; however, we at ODVN recommend that survivors with an open court case not share their story publicly as there could be unintended negative consequences for you or your children. For more information on public speaking and testifying, please review this guide.

In order to protect you and your children, we encourage you to submit your story via our Anonymous Survivor Story Submission Portal. We will remove identifying information and keep you anonymous if we use your story to educate and inform decision-makers. By submitting your story via this portal, you are giving the Ohio Domestic Violence Network permission to redact or take out identifying information and use your story in testimony, fact sheets, and other public awareness campaigns. Thank you for your interest and willingness to share your lived experience.

Find Your Elected Officials

Not sure who is currently elected to represent you? Click here to find your elected officials in the Ohio House of Representatives, the Ohio Senate, and the U.S. House and Senate.

At least 125 people attended ODVN’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month press conference in the Capitol on October 12, and 135 people attended virtually. We presented our annual Domestic Violence Fatality Report, which found that more children in Ohio died in FY2022 than in any year since ODVN began counting.

Guest speaker and survivor Kellie Elliot, of Preble County, whose abuser killed Kellie’s two children and then himself in January, spoke about her struggles to keep her children safe amid multiple system failures.

This year’s event honored two long-time advocates with ODVN’s annual Croucher Family Award for Outstanding Leadership: Bridget Mahoney, Immediate Past Board Chair of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, former television anchor, and domestic violence survivor, and Kimberly Stanley, Victim Witness Director at the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office.

Click to view the recording.

Get in touch. Get involved.

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