A woman is brutally beaten by her husband. She wants to press charges and needs medical attention.
To do both of those things, she will need time off work at her minimum wage, 40 hour-a-week job — but it’s the third time this week she’s missed work because her husband wouldn’t drive her and won’t let her have a car. If she asks off again, she’ll lose her job. So she stays.
A woman is tied into a yearlong lease with her boyfriend. One night, he throws her down the stairs, breaking several ribs, as well as her confidence. She’s called the shelter and she wants to leave. But she can’t break the lease.
A woman’s husband has beaten her and her child for years. He’s aimed one of his many guns, which are displayed in a glass case along the wall, at them multiple times. And when she threatened to leave, he pulled the gun on her beloved German shepherd, Percy. She’s had the dog for 10 years and would rather see herself shot than him. So she stays.
These scenarios happen to women everyday. The names and locations might change, but at its core, it’s the same story: a desperate woman with no avenue to escape.
Bills addressing all three of those issues have been presented to the Ohio legislature multiple times, but each time, they’ve been shot down.
Ohio House Bill 105 would allow an abused woman (or man) to take several unpaid workdays to go to the doctor or to court. It would also allow an abused woman (or man) to break a lease with a landlord if domestic violence is an issue.
Last year, a similar bill passed the state House but not the state Senate. This year, the bill was introduced in the House but is stagnant.
Ohio House Bill 25 would include companion pets in protection orders and require juveniles convicted of animal cruelty to receive individual or family counseling.
Similar bills have been brought to the table multiple times but haven’t gone anywhere. This year, the bill passed the House in May and awaits a vote in the Senate.
The abused women are scolded for not leaving, for allowing the abuse to continue, yet simple legislation that would provide them the means to escape can’t get passed.
How can they be expected to leave if they’ll lose their jobs, their only means of income? How can they be expected to leave if they’ll have to pay for two apartments when they can barely afford to pay for one? How can they be expected to leave if their animals — a member of their family — might be killed?
Society can scold and look down upon them as much as they want, but until the laws make it easier for them to leave, women will continue to stay in horrible situations.
Something needs to change — and it needs to change now.
Alex Stuckey is a senior studying journalism and assistant managing editor of
The Post. Do you support the bills? Let her know at firstname.lastname@example.org.