The Ohio Domestic Violence Network held their Annual Community Awareness Event at the Ohio State House last week where they recognized Mansfield Municipal Court Judge Jerry Ault with the Croucher Family Award for Outstanding Leadership. The gathering is designed to increase public awareness of the frequency of domestic violence fatalities and highlight best practices around domestic violence prevention, awareness and education.

The statewide award was presented to Judge Ault by Kathy Ezawa, Board Chair of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. Recognized as a pioneer for implementing domestic violence specialty courts, Judge Ault’s court is often used as a model by Supreme Court of Ohio. Judge Ault’s domestic violence court, which began in 2008 increases collaboration between the court and community service providers. Post-conviction perpetrators, comply with strict supervision and treatment requirements. Over 100 law enforcement, court personnel and advocates have visited Judge Ault’s courtroom to learn his innovative approach to justice. The court was one of the first to be certified by the Ohio Supreme Court as a Specialized Docket.

The event is in conjunction with observances of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This year’s review of cases across Ohio found 115 fatalities in 83 cases of deadly intimate partner violence. Nearly one-third of fatal cases involved a suicide, and all of the cases of homicides-with-suicides involved guns. Nineteen people who are considered third parties to the relationship were among those killed. Jo Simonsen, a program director with ODVN, also provided attendees additional statistical findings. “The numbers are higher than last year’s and are a jarring reminder of the ongoing horrific scope of domestic violence throughout the state. It is imperative that Ohioans have a clear accounting of the toll on families and communities,” said Simonsen.

Source, Photo: City of Mansfield

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