October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one Kentucky lawmaker is observing the month by pre-filing legislation for the 2014 General Assembly.
Representative John Tilley is crafting a bill that would allow dating partners to obtain protective court orders. Current state law extends protection to those who are married, live together, or share a child.
"Right now, the most vulnerable population, the most at-risk population are girls ages 16-19, and they most often are not married, living together or have a child in common," states Tilley. "We know, in some cases, they are four times more likely to be victimized either physically or sexually, or both."
Representative Tilley chairs the House Judiciary Committee. The Hopkinsville Democrat plans to bring the measure to his committee on January 8th, two days after lawmakers convene.
Earlier this month, Governor Beshear called on state lawmakers to approve the legislation, which has failed in past legislative sessions. Some lawmakers have expressed concerns that couples might take out protective orders to gain an upper hand in divorce or child custody cases.
Kentucky is one of just three states that provides no protection for victims of dating violence.