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Raising awareness about domestic violence

 
Raising awareness about domestic violence
Posted October 1st, 2013 @ 3:51pm by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Ohio. It's an issue that impacts more than one in three women and one in four men during their lifetime.

"It takes courage for every step of the way," said Julie Boak who was abused as a child.

She's pushing for more education in schools, even for students as young as elementary school, to learn about abuse and how to stop it. A survey found that among high school students, nearly one in ten admitted that they had been abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year.

"New studies show 60 percent of us know someone who has been affected by domestic violence," she said.

Last year there were 41,053 domestic violence arrests made in Ohio and 68 deaths, according to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Boak says many times the victim doesn't even recognize they are in an abusive situation and many return to the relationship thinking things will be different.

Johanna Orzoco-Fraser was in an abusive relationship with her high school sweetheart. She finally broke up with him and that only made things worse. The Cleveland woman says she called the police numerous times and he was finally arrested after raping her. Her request for a restraining order was denied because her ex-boyfriend was a minor.

"I know it would have made a huge difference because I believe he would have known that I meant business that I was done and over with," she said.

In March, 2007 Orzoco-Fraser's ex-boyfriend shot her in the face with a sawed-off shotgun. She's had to undergo 12 surgeries to reconstruct her jaw.

Orzoco-Fraser played a big role in getting Ohio lawmakers to allow protection orders to be filed against minors. Nearly 18,200 civil protection orders were filed in Ohio last year, according to the Ohio Supreme Court.

It's estimated that domestic violence costs the state of Ohio about $3.3 billion each year.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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