On Wednesday, May 13, 2009 the Ohio House of Representatives passed H. B. No. 19, a domestic violence bill named after teenager Tina Croucher who was shot and murdered by her former boyfriend in 1992. The bill was introduced by State Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood (D-Niles) and requires schools to teach dating abuse prevention in health classes.

The Ohio House of Representatives Journal for that day reported that then-Representative Kris Jordan voted against against the bill. Jordan is currently being investigated for “pushing around” his wife while running around his house drunk with a gun.

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s press release about the bill clearly articulates the reasons why this type of education is needed:

“Research has demonstrated that an Ohio teen is more likely to be injured because of domestic or teen-dating violence than a car accident,’’ said Melinda Swan, chair of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network board. “Just as we try to teach young people safe driving tips, we also must make an all-out effort to educate them on how to stay safe in the face of interpersonal violence.”

Teens, just as adults, should not have to tolerate violence or harassment from the ones who claim to love them,’’ Cordray said. “Knowing how to protect one’s self and standing up to violence is crucial to promoting safe and healthy relationships.’’

Research shows that 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner. Teen girls, significantly more often than boys, report experiencing severe violence such as being choked, beaten or burned. And adolescent girls in physically abusive relationships were 3.5 times more likely to become pregnant than non-abused girls.

As Modern asked last year after hearing a large number of Republicans voted against it: “Seriously, how could you vote against this bill?”

It’s a great questions. We’re waiting to hear back from the Senator’s office.