Dating Violence Legislation Update

In the midst of a legislative session bogged down with controversies over redistricting, expanded gaming, dramatic budget cuts, requiring a prescription for Pseudoephederine, Medicaid, etc., etc. our lobbyists have been working hand-in-hand with House Judiciary John Tilley to find the right time to move ahead on our dating violence legislation.

We are happy to report that yesterday Chairman Tilley took the important step of filing HB 498 – the bill that ultimately will be the vehicle for addressing this important issue!

The Frankfort vernacular to describe this bill is that it is a “jacket” – a bill that has been filed but will be significantly amended as it comes for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee.  This amendment process in the Committee will include language that will allow those in dating relationships to seek Protective Orders.

Chairman Tilley has devoted a great deal of time to study of the issues and data we have gathered and shared on the No1atRisk Facebook Page and Twitter Page.  He also has been working behind the scenes to communicate the personal importance and priority he has for passage of this legislation with Senate Judiciary Chairman Tom Jensen.  As you know, Senator Jensen has been the most ardent opponent of dating violence legislation in the past.

In the coming weeks, these discussions will continue between the the House and Senate leadership.  In the meantime, we will continue to provide updates on Facebook and Twitter in order to build a team of advocates ready to lobby for the bill when the time comes.

We will be in touch with you just as soon as we know when the bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee and when we are ready to begin the public relations and grassroots lobbying push!!  In the meantime, if you aren’t already following us on Facebook (No1@Risk) and Twitter (@no1atrisk), please do so.

Thank you, as always, for your commitment to this bill

Legislative Fight For Protection for Victims of Dating Violence Begins

Violence knows no  boundaries.  It happens to victims of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic classes.  Violence isn’t particular to one age group or another.  Victims may be seniors or young people – or any age in-between.  It does not just occur when people live together, are married, or have children in common, although currently these are the only categories of citizens who can seek emergency protection under Kentucky law. 

Forty-six other states have laws allowing people in a dating relationship to apply for emergency protection.  Kentucky can’t afford to wait for more tragic loss to move us to action.  Many of our citizens are at risk.

So, for the first time, the Mary Byron Project is playing a leading role in advocating for passage of legislation in Frankfort to fill a gap in the law.

We are calling on everyone in the Commonwealth to be a part of No1@ Risk – a coalition of Kentuckians working to pass a bill that will allow victims in dating relationships to seek the protection afforded by Protective Orders

Our organization was named for a young woman who was murdered by a man she had dated.  Because of community outrage and a combined effort from her family, local government, and the private sector, the system known as VINE, Victim Information and Notification Everyday, was created. 

Kentucky’s leadership resulted in one of the most innovative systems of public protection in the nation.   VINE is now in thousands of communities in nearly every state, saving lives and empowering victims.

Now it is time for us to join the rest of the nation in recognizing that violence between intimate partners is an epidemic in this country.  It does not begin when people live together, have a child together, or marry- it begins when the perpetrator feels a loss of control over the victim.

The time is now.  Help us in this important fight.  Your life or the life of someone you know and love depends on it.