PA legislators want to combat escalating number of domestic abuse victims

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State representatives say the number of sexual abuse victims in Central PA are rising.  Thursday, in Lebanon County, legislators pushed for stricter laws against abusers.

In the 1980’s, Jennifer Oh, of North Lebanon Township, felt like she was being held captive.

Oh says, “I had to wear what he wanted, do what he wanted. I wasn’t allowed to work, if I did it had to be around all women.”

Oh says the abuse with her then fiance didn’t stop.  She says, “He took the pan I was cooking with and threw it at me and burned my hand. I remember hitting back and he pinned my back and put me on the floor and holding me down so I couldn’t move.”

So she planned an escape and now, nearly 30 years later, she feels safe again.

Oh says, “I’m happily married by my husband, Joseph, with 2 children and I was on the board of directors for Domestic Violence.”

Republican State Representative Mauree Gingrich, of the 101st District says, “We need to enhance the resources out there in the communities.”

Gingrich co-chairs the House Majority Policy Committee.  She’s listening to organizations throughout the State speak on sexual abuse and violence victims’ needs.

She says, “We’ll put our heads together from what we hear and look at ways as we as legislators can tighten up laws or create new laws or enhance what we do on law making side of this issue.”

Oh’s now a legal advocate and she supports this effort.

She says, “There’s a lot of women being abused and don’t realize it at first and women are hurting and are afraid to leave because a lot of times they end up being killed.”

For more information, contact the Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County.