A bill that would extend domestic violence protections for unmarried couples in Kentucky has passed a state House committee.
The bill would expand domestic violence protections to couples who are or were in a romantic relationship. Currently, the law protects individuals who have been married to, have a child with or have lived with their abuser.
Kentucky Domestic Violence Association President Darlene Thomas said the law must be expanded to protect all victims of domestic violence.
“Our criminal justice system, rightfully so, is purposeful and cautious, as a means to ensure that the rights of the accused are protected," she said. "However, for a victim of domestic violence, that process is cumbersome and lengthy
Gov. Steve Beshear expressed support for the measure in his State of the Commonwealth address this week.
Similar legislation has easily cleared the House before, but has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.