Apr 28, 2022
Nearly two years ago, Judy Malinowski was set on fire by her ex-boyfriend in Ohio. Since then, she underwent sixty surgeries, spoke out against domestic violence and worked to change sentencing laws in Ohio. The eleven years her attacker had been sentenced to didn't seem sufficient, she said.
Judy died two days ago, but she lives on in me, as I'm sure she will in so many other of Ohio's women. We are sorrowfully inspired by her toughness.
Though I'm a survivor of gender-based violence, I can't imagine the pain that would come along with being burned in such a manner. I can, however, remember what it felt like to be beaten, raped and locked away from my children by a bad man. Bad men are a global problem that must be remedied one by one because the scars they leave can't always be seen.It is because of this that sentences for all who abuse women and children should be stiffer.
Too often,physical wounds inflicted on victims heal while the psychological and emotional scars left behindeffect every aspect of our relationships and every plan for ourfutures. Sometimes, theycrippleus for life.
On June 27th, the day that Judy died, Ohio legislators passed a bill that would lengthen sentences of those who disfigureby an extra six years. The bill has been forwarded to Governor John Kasich for consideration. As he contemplates "Judy's Law," I hope the Governor will give pause to remember the thousands of Ohio women who are murdered, raped or abused by their partners every year.
They deserve justice, too. Judy wasn't just fighting for herself, and she made that more than clear.
The Columbus Dispatch served as a source for this op-ed.