Kentucky Gov. Beshear signs bill to protect domestic violence victims
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a bill into law that aims to protect domestic violence victims in the state. The bill, known as Senate Bill 68, was passed unanimously by both the Kentucky House and Senate earlier this year. The new law will allow domestic violence victims to obtain emergency protective orders without having to appear in court. This will make it easier for victims to obtain protection from their abusers, as they will no longer have to go through the often-intimidating process of appearing in court. In addition, the law will also require judges to consider a defendant's history of domestic violence when setting bail or determining whether to release them from custody. This will help ensure that abusers are held accountable for their actions and are not able to continue to harm their victims. The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield and Democratic Rep. Joni Jenkins, and was supported by a number of advocacy groups, including the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In a statement, Gov. Beshear praised the bill, saying that it "will help protect some of our most vulnerable citizens and ensure that they have the resources they need to escape dangerous situations." Domestic violence is a serious problem in Kentucky, with the state consistently ranking among the highest in the nation for rates of domestic violence. According to the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were more than 22,000 domestic violence incidents reported in the state in 2019 alone. The new law is a step in the right direction towards addressing this issue and providing much-needed support for domestic violence victims in Kentucky. It is hoped that it will help to reduce the number of incidents of domestic violence in the state and provide greater protection for those who are most at risk.