Mahoning County offers wallet-sized version of civil protection - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Mahoning County offers wallet-sized version of civil protection orders

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The number of local domestic violence cases, are increasing day by day in Mahoning County.

Since the beginning of the year, 90 new cases have been filed with the Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court. That's more than one case each day. Since 2009, cases have gone up 6.8 percent.
 
Judge Beth Smith introduced Civil Protection Order cards to help victims of domestic violence, especially when having important information on hand in a hurry matters. The cards replace protection orders, which can be several pages in length.

The cards contain essential data, including the issue and expiration dates and description of the person ordered to stay away from the victim. 
 
Having the orders handy will help in situations where children could be involved.

"Children are innocent victims of domestic violence," Smith says. "So if we can try to stop the violence immediately, it secures the children."

With more than 90 protective orders filed this year, stopping the violence is top of mind for Smith.

In 2012, Mahoning County ranked 8th in the state for the number of new case filings. Smith says Mahoning County is on the higher end in terms of case filings compared to its neighboring counties. The number of cases for domestic violence have steadily increase since 1997 by 40 percent.

Smith recommends victims should keep police phone numbers in their phones and have a safety plan.

"They can have exits out of their home, how to get out of their house, how to get the children out and have your essential items, your card, your car, your keys and things so that you can escape," she says.

Victims who believe they could be in danger are urged to contact the court for any support they need. Those with prior protection orders may obtain a card on a case by case basis.

Anyone interested in obtaining a card may call Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court at 330-740-2208.

 

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