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.

For more information on ODVN’s policy work, please contact Lisa DeGeeter or Maria York.

More than 130 Advocates Mobilized
for Advocacy Day 2024

More than 130 advocates including staff from at least 45 member programs gathered at the Riffe Center Wednesday for ODVN’s 2024 Advocacy Day. Advocates learned about pending bills and ways to communicate effectively with legislators. After the training they attended 65 meetings with legislators to discuss priority bills and thank them for including $20 million in the state budget for DV programs. Advocacy Day was made possible with support from the Longaberger Family Foundation.

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.

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.

VOCA Level Funding Request Letter

Bill Tracker and Fact Sheets 2023-2024

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:

Fact Sheets

Systems Advocacy

In addition to advocating legislatively at both local and federal levels, ODVN’s policy team actively engages in initiatives aimed at reshaping the policies and systems governing the provision of services to domestic violence survivors and their families.

Linking Systems of Care for Ohio’s Youth (LSCOY)

Linking Systems of Care for Ohio’s Youth (LSCOY) is Ohio’s effort to better coordinate and align health care, child welfare, education, justice, and other systems both statewide and locally to ensure that, regardless of the system of entry, young victims of trauma and their families receive help in a timely and seamless manner.

Safe Access for Victims’ Economic Security Center (SAVES)

The SAVES Center provides research, training, technical assistance, policy direction, and collaboration guidance to increase safe access to child support, parenting time, and the establishment of parentage services for survivors of domestic violence.

Justice for Families

ODVN provides specialized training for the Advanced Guardian Ad Litem: Excellence in Child Custody Training Program.

Fatality Review Boards

On April 3, 2023, legislation went into effect authorizing the establishment of county or regional domestic violence fatality review boards and requiring the Ohio Department of Health to create rules and procedures for such boards.

ODVN is one of the local partners currently working with ODH and others across the state to provide technical assistance and develop policies and procedures around establishing and conducting domestic violence fatality reviews. For more information, please email Maria York.

Advocacy Days Archive

2023 Spring Advocacy Days

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 the image to view the recording.

FY24-25 Line Item

Op-Eds by Our Program Directors

Case Statement for Line Item Increase

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.

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?

Click here to sign up to receive information on pending legislation and how to create awareness of our issues.

If you are a survivor and are interested in publicly sharing your story, 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. However, we at ODVN recommend that survivors with open court cases not share their story publicly as there could be unintended negative consequences for you or your children. 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.

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.

October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

At least 120 participants attended ODVN’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month press conference in the Capitol on October 11. At least 90 participants attended virtually. ODVN presented its annual Domestic Violence Fatality Report, which counted 112 total intimate partner-related fatalities, the same number as the previous reporting year. The report also found that — for the second year in a row — more children in Ohio died than in any year since ODVN began counting. Twenty-two youths and children were killed, including 5 babies. Eighteen of the children were killed by either their parents or stepparents.

Guest speaker and survivor Paula D Walters who survived a nearly fatal strangulation in 2006 and suffered a traumatic brain injury, spoke about her 12-year struggle with her TBI diagnosis.

This year’s event honored four elected officials for their support of increased funding for domestic violence services in the 2024/25 state budget and other legislative reforms. Gov. Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost received the Croucher Family Award for Outstanding Leadership. Sen. Nathan Manning and Minority Leader Allison Russo received Leadership in Policy Awards.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Recording

Click here to learn more about Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Get in touch. Get involved.

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