Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:45 am
A majority of Kentuckians think that the state’s domestic violence laws should include unmarried couples who haven’t live together and those who don’t share a child, according to a poll released Thursday.
The Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that 80 percent of Kentucky adults favor changing current Kentucky law to allow people to file a domestic violence protection order against a current or former dating partner regardless of their living arrangements or whether they have children together.
Attempts to win approval of dating violence legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly could be bolstered by a new strategy.
Kentucky Domestic Violence Association Director Sherry Currens says lawmakers will be asked to consider creating a new section in Kentucky Revised Statutes for domestic partner dating violence. Currens says the domestic partner statutes pertaining to dating violence have been aired in the state capital numerous times.
"And it's calling it an IPO, so it's an interpersonal protective order and it will be in chapter 456. So it's establishing a new section," said Currens.
Currens says there were some members of the state legislature who asked for domestic partner dating violence protections to be removed from current spouse abuse statutes. The revised legislation was reviewed during an interim legislative meeting Friday.
Currens says lawmakers should be well acquainted with the issues today.
"I think everybody is pretty familiar with the bill, with the concept. As I said before, it's a very long bill, but it's mostly just moving existing statute into a new section, so they're really aren't that many changes to the bill. So, I'm very hopeful," explained Currens.
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.
A bill that would extend domestic-violence protection to dating partners is being taken up Wednesday by members of a Kentucky House committee.
House Bill 8 received an endorsement Tuesday night by Governor Steve Beshear, who spoke in favor of the bill during his “State of the Commonwealth” address. Supporters have been trying to get such legislation passed since 2007.
Kentucky House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Tilley of Hopkinsville sponsored a bill last year that died without receiving a floor vote.
Tilly is again sponsoring legislation this session that would allow dating partners to obtain domestic violence protective orders.
Jockey Robby Albarado lost his ride in the Kentucky Oaks, after being arrested on an assault charge this morning. Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Carl Yates says Albarado was arrested at a local residence, several hours before he was slated to ride "Hard Not to Like" in the Oaks.