I just signed a petition requesting your support in enacting felony strangulation legislation in Ohio - House Bill 362. Ohio needs to join the thirty plus states that have already realized the crucial need to create a felony strangulation statute. When a victim is strangled the danger is severe – loss of consciousness can occur within 5-10 seconds and death within 4 to 5 minutes. Strangulation is lethal force and is one of the best predictors of escalating violence and future homicide in domestic violence cases. Almost half of all domestic violence murder victims have suffered at least one incident of attempted strangulation prior to a fatal or near fatal violent incident.
In January of 2014 Andre Jeter strangled his wife of 19 years, Monica Weber Jeter, until she “was dizzy and unable to call for help”. One of their children disrupted the attack and called 911. He was found guilty and served eleven days in jail and six months of probation on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Nine months later, Andre viciously stabbed Monica multiple times while she slept in their North College Hill home. Two of their five children witnessed the attack—their twelve year old daughter called 911. Monica died from her injuries on November 9, 2014. If Andre had been convicted of a felony for the January strangulation attack, Monica might be alive today.
A specific statute is necessary because strangulation does not fit neatly into any other crime. An abuser can strangle someone nearly to death with no visible injury. Currently, most Ohio non-fatal strangulation cases are treated as misdemeanor assault or domestic violence offenses. Initiating and passing felony strangulation legislation will send a strong message that strangulation is a serious deadly act of violence. Felony strangulation laws not only secure tougher punishment for domestic abusers; but also promote awareness and training for law enforcement and other professionals who come in contact with this violent crime that often precedes murder.
I urge you to support this important initiative. Ohio needs to step up and provide the women of this state the same protection that is offered in more than thirty other states. This measure will save lives in the months and years to come and is an imperative step in protecting victims of strangulation.
Thank you for your support.
Family & Friends of Monica Weber Jeter started this petition with a single signature, and now has 118,045 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.