Legal Research for “Johanna: Facing Forward”

The Teen Dating Violence Act, Ohio state legislature, 2007-2010

Johanna notes that she reported every incident of stalking and harassment before she was shot. The loophole in the law

From article by Damon Sims,, 12/2/2008

Johanna “who has become a local spokeswoman against teen dating violence, wants a proposal to give juvenile court judges the power to protect teens in violent relationships with other teens to become law. Adults already have that protection under Ohio law.”

“House Bill 247, introduced by Toledo-area Democrat Edna Brown, passed the Ohio House unanimously in May but has stalled in the Senate and will die if it is not passed before this session ends in a few weeks. The bill is named after Shynerra Grant, a teen in Brown’s district who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2005.”

HB 247 was introduced in 2007, passed by the state House, significantly amended in the state Senate, but not enacted by the end of the 2008 General Assembly. Brown reintroduced it as House Bill 10 the following year, with the support of the Ohio Judicial Conference. House Bill 10 was finally enacted into law as “the teen dating violence bill”  in June 2010.

From Action Ohio’s annual Legislative Update for 2007-2008:

Representative Edna Brown introduced House Bill 247, the Teen Dating Violence Bill, which would have allowed a court to issue a civil protection order to a child who has had or has a dating relationship with the respondent. Juvenile court would have jurisdiction if the perpetrator is a juvenile and common pleas court would have jurisdiction in cases of adult perpetrators. The bill also filled a gap in Ohio’s DV [domestic violence] law by including foster parent in the definition of “family or household member.” ACTION OHIO testified in support of the bill. In the final deliberations of the bill on the Senate side, Senators amended the bill to delete “dating relationships” and finally Senator Keith Faber insisted that the bill include a provision to expunge a juvenile’s record if falsely accused of violence and then found to be innocent. This move sealed the fate of the bill and it died in committee.

From Edna Brown’s professional legislative Web page:

Action Ohio awarded Representative (now Senator, as of the November 2010 election) Brown the Legislative Leadership Award for her championship of the teen dating violence bill.

From ABC affiliate WVXU’s Web page:

The “teen dating violence bill” “allows for protective orders to be issued against accused abusers who are under 18.”

In the two years after the “teen dating violence bill” became law, domestic violence-related arrests in Ohio decreased. The bill was credited.

“Tina’s Law” or the Tina Croucher Act, Ohio public schools, 2010

From (The Vindicator newspaper Web page):

February 2011: “A state law signed last year [in 2009] by then-Gov. Ted Strickland and sponsored by former state Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood of Niles mandated that public schools begin to teach students in grades seven-12 about teen-dating violence starting this school year… Because the Legislature didn’t provide any funding to carry it out and because the law didn’t specify what kind of education is required, some schools are doing almost nothing, [Cheryl] Tarantino[, Executive Director of Someplace Safe, a domestic violence shelter in Warren, OH] said.”

Johanna lobbied for Tina’s Law to be passed. After its passage she frequently went to schools to help provide that mandatory education, and spoke at other events to help train teachers, counselors, and teens about the topic. Hearing her tell her story inspired teens to come forward and report their own experiences of intimate partner violence.

And It’s Still a Problem

From the Lorain County Chronicle-Telegram newspaper online: March 2014


  • 20 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 14 say their friends are victims of dating violence.
  • 40 percent of teenage girls between the ages of 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up.
  • Of the women between the ages of 16-19 murdered between 1993 and 1999, 22 percent were killed by their partner.
  • Females aged 16-24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group—at a rate almost triple the national average.
  • 44 percent of all students have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate from college:  22 percent of all males and more than 50 percent of all females.