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Kentucky Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse Law in the state of Kentucky criminalizes an individual who has been found guilty of assaulting a family member. According to recent Kentucky domestic abuse statistics, the criminal act results in approximately 40 death every year. The perpetrators of the crime are mostly men and the victims of the act are usually female.

Domestic abuse statistics in Kentucky also state that two-thirds of the victims stayed with their partners till the eventual homicide, and 1 in 4 victims had previously filed an official police report against the domestic abuser. Domestic abuse is prevalent in Kentucky, as the state does not have a formal statewide system to track perpetrators, neither does it have a formal procedure for reviewing domestic abuser related homicide cases.

Penalties for Domestic Abuse Laws in Kentucky

Except for a few cases, the state of Kentucky does not have any penalties that strictly cater to domestic abuse laws. For example, being guilty of physically threatening another person falls into the gambit of "terroristic threatening", and not domestic violence. Even then, the state does take into account the individual's home behavior when convicting them of a crime. Individuals who have a more violent temperament at home will automatically face greater charges for a crime.

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Kentucky Domestic Abuse Laws do have a provision for repeat offenders. An individual who has committed a third repeated assault or any subsequent assaults thereafter within five years will be automatically charged with a Class D Felony if their victim was a family member or a member of an unmarried couple. A Class D Felony will land the person in prison for a maximum of five years. The juries have the option of deciding whether the convicted individual will be charged with a felony or a simple misdemeanor.

Filing a Protective Order

According to the domestic abuse law of Kentucky, any victim of abuse has the option of filing a protective order against their perpetrator on an emergency basis. The abuser does not have to be notified about the protective order. Depending on the case, a judge may include the following clauses when granting a protective order:

  • The abuser will not be allowed to have any contact with their victim, and any acts of violence committed on the latter will fall under the gambit of abuse.
  • The abuser will not be allowed to use or dispose of the victim's property. This clause is especially for an unmarried couple or for a minor who still lives with their parents.
  • The abuser will not be able to step within specified distance of the victim's home, school, office, their children, or their family members.
  • The abuser will temporarily lose child custody.

If the abuser breaks any of the clauses, they will be punished wither under civil or criminal law, but not both.

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Help For Domestic Abuse in Kentucky

If you or someone you know are the victims of domestic abuse in Kentucky, you should reach out to your local police station and various women help shelters located around the state. There are many also helplines you can contact for redressing your complaints. Help for domestic abuse in Kentucky includes the following numbers:

State Numbers

  • Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs: (866) 375-2727
  • Kentucky Domestic Violence Association: 502-209-KDVA (5382)

National Numbers

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
  • DOD Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: 800-656-HOPE
  • National Organisation for Victim Assistance: 800-TRY-NOVA
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center: 877-739-3895
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence: 800-799-7233
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 303-839-1852
  • Battered Women's Justice Project: 800-903-0111
  • American's Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center: 866-USWOMEN
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