Standing With Domestic Violence Victims In Kentucky

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and all across Kentucky, organizations are hosting candlelight vigils, posting on social media and executing other efforts to prevent this horrible crime from continuing. Hearing domestic violence victims recount their heartbreaking experiences, and confronting the grim statistics, fuels our determination to ensure crime victims are given the legal protections they deserve.

Originally started as a “Day of Unity” in 1981, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is now a month-long event, with fundraisers and vigils across the country that bring awareness, tell the stories and inspire us to do more. This month, we will mourn those who lost their lives from domestic violence, encourage those who have survived and connect victims with the resources they need.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behaviors that may include repeated battering and injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, deprivation, and intimidation. The one constant component of domestic violence is a partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. What is especially devastating is that the victim is harmed by someone they know and trust.

Sadly, our state rates of domestic violence are significantly higher than the national average. As of 2010, 37.5 percent of Kentucky women had been raped, stalked and/or experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. Last year alone, Kentucky received 26,971 domestic violence-related calls. If you’re tempted to skim over these statistics, remember that each of these numbers is a face, a person, or maybe even your friend or family member.

With so many Kentuckians suffering from domestic violence, Marsy’s Law is needed more than ever. Victims of crimes, specifically of domestic violence, need a system they can trust and the right to have a voice in the judicial process. With Marsy’s Law, we can better equip these victims to face their accuser and begin the important healing process they deserve. This month, our thoughts are with those who have experienced domestic violence, and our fight is in advancing Marsy’s Law in Kentucky!