CLEVELAND – To mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, David Pepper, Democratic Nominee for Ohio Attorney General, spoke to the City Club of Cleveland today about his plan to make the Ohio Attorney General a leader in preventing violence against women.

Pepper made the following statement:

“It shouldn’t take an NFL scandal and a brutal surveillance tape for us to take violence against women seriously. At a time when an estimated one in four Ohio women have faced domestic violence, the Attorney General must be a leader on both preventing violence and cracking down on abusers.”

The appearance was in lieu of a debate with Mike DeWine, who refused the City Club’s invitation to appear.

Earlier this year, Pepper announced a plan to deal with violence against women in Ohio that calls for greater focus on prevention, enforcement, and justice for victims.

Amongst other proposals, Pepper will fight to expand Ohio’s domestic violence laws to cover coercion and other forms of control that are a clear prelude to violence, to make clear that strangulation is a felony, and ensure the federal ban on gun possession for convicted domestic abusers is enforced.

Pepper will also create a Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Unit to assist with sexual assault prosecutions and implement best practices around the state, to urge aggressive enforcement of laws requiring citizens to report felonies they witness, and to ensure Ohio’s colleges and universities are adopting policies to keep women safe from campus assaults. Finally, Pepper will replenish and reform the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, will greatly broaden access to services and critical information for victims, and will work with local crime labs to accelerate testing of the growing rape kit backlog.

Northwestern University Prof. Margaret B. Drew, a national expert on domestic violence, made the following statement about Pepper’s plan:

“David Pepper’s plan for addressing violence against women is the first comprehensive plan for Ohio to assist women who experience domestic and sexual violence. Pepper’s plan addresses the many systemic and personal barriers that survivors have in escaping and recovering from gender violence.”

“His plan calls on all of us to assist the state in preventing violence against woman and assisting those who are the targets of the violence.”

The full plan is available at