Thanks to changes to domestic violence laws effective at the beginning of 2016, more Kentucky domestic violence victims have legal protection than ever.
Prior to now, protective orders such as Emergency Orders of Protection (EPOs) and Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs) were available only to family members or members of an unmarried couple who live or lived together or have a child in common.
As long as the person seeking protection fit one of those descriptions, he/she could qualify for a court order to help prevent future acts of abuse.
Dating laws in kentucky
Kentucky’s General Assembly adopted a new set of laws (KRS Chapter 456) creating Interpersonal Protective Orders (IPOs), and developing a procedure for victims and courts to follow when an IPO is being sought.
The following describes, in basic terms, the provisions of the new law.
The most significant impact of the new law is its expansion of domestic violence protections to those who are in, or who have been in, a to mean “a relationship between individuals who have or have had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” The definition specifically excludes “a casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.” In determining whether parties are or were in a , a judge is allowed to consider factors such as: declarations of romantic interest; whether the relationship was characterized by the expectation of affection; attendance at social outings together as a couple; the frequency and type of interaction between the persons, including whether the persons have been involved together over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship; and the length and recency of the relationship.
(WDRB) -- Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed a dating violence bill into law Thursday afternoon at the state capital.“There's not a bill that is more important to the commonwealth than the passage of House Bill 8,” said Gov. House Bill 8 allows victims to take out emergency protective orders, or EPOs, against their abusers or stalkers.
Before this law passed, that kind of protection only applied to married couples, those who have children together, or people who live together.
It's legal action, Pat Byron wishes would have been around sooner.“Our daughter, Mary Byron was murdered on her 21st birthday in 1993 by her ex-boyfriend,” Byron told WDRB News.Lawmakers say they've been working on a policy like House Bill 8 or some version of it for the last nine years.“The bill has been a long time coming.It's here now, but as we all know, our job is not finished.Violence and the threat of violence are unfortunate, tragic realities for too many Kentuckians,” said Gov. Representative John Tilley says one in three women in the country will be victimized by stalking, rape, or some kind of violence.“It should all strike us that we still have a lot of work to do. We are now, no longer last but once again a leader because of a well-crafted bill,” said Rep. Until the bill passed, lawmakers say the only way a victim of dating violence could get protection, was to file a complaint, which would take weeks to months before it was even heard in court.Now the protection is immediate.“That 24 hour protocol exists for the EPOs and DVOs (domestic violence orders) now so there's always a judge ready to take that petition and hear it and have a hearing on that petition and grant the protective order or not,” said Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville).Despite the milestone this bill makes in protecting victims of dating violence, advocates say there is still a lot of work to be done.“Education, prevention of other kinds that I'm sure are out there, and awareness,” said Byron. 1, 2016 to allow judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement time to adapt to the new policy.