More than $2.2 million awarded to fight domestic violence

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Jan. 19—FRANKFORT — Gov. Andy Beshear recently awarded $2,233,948 to 32 organizations across the commonwealth that work to combat domestic violence as well as support and seek justice for survivors. The Beshear administration is also working with the Council of State Governments to launch the council's largest statewide domestic violence data project.

"As Governor, my top priority is to make our commonwealth safer for every Kentucky family," Gov. Beshear said. "So, I am proud that today we are investing more than $2 million to support domestic violence survivors and tackle violence in our communities. Additionally, with the launch of our new statewide domestic violence data project, we are leading the nation in efforts to combat domestic violence."

"By working together, we can enhance the safety of every community in the commonwealth," said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. "This partnership emphasizes our commitment to ensuring domestic violence survivors have access to safety, justice and healing in Kentucky."

Violence Against Women Act Awards

The $2 million in funding is being awarded from the federal Violence Against Women Act grant program focused on stopping sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Funds are allocated for law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services and state and local courts. It also supports community and local projects serving adult and youth (ages 11-17) victims.

Recipients include:

—Administrative Office of The Courts $110,044

—Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of KY $5,086

—Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs $180,000

—Kentucky Office of the Attorney General $29,100.

Statewide Domestic Violence Data Project

Gov. Beshear said the state needs quality, accurate data to help end domestic violence and enhance the safety of every community in the commonwealth.

To improve outcomes for survivors, the executive, judicial and legislative branches, as well as the Kentucky State Police, Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of the Courts, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center and ZeroV are partnering with the CSG Justice Center. This is the council's largest statewide domestic violence data project. The group will analyze domestic violence data and then make policy recommendations to improve services and prevent victimization. This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 at no cost to Kentuckians.

"We know that domestic violence victimization leads to far-reaching health impacts. Children who are exposed to domestic violence experience emotional, mental and social trauma, adversely affecting their development," Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey said. "Kentucky doesn't tolerate domestic violence, which is why this administration is doing everything it takes — from data collection to awarding grant funding, championing legislation and working across party lines — to end this abuse and empower survivors."

"The Council of State Governments Justice Center is proud to partner with Kentucky on this exciting Justice Reinvestment Initiative," said CSG Justice Center Director Megan Quattlebaum. "It's inspiring when leaders from all three branches of government come together to use data and research to guide their understanding of complex criminal justice challenges and identify impactful solutions. Kentucky is one of the first states to utilize the Justice Reinvestment approach to analyze and address the problem of domestic violence specifically, and we look forward to supporting the state as it tackles this critical issue."

The news follows October's announcement that a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Justice grant has been awarded to Kentucky to further assist law enforcement in bringing justice to victims of sexual assault. This year's funding is the second-largest award in the history of the commonwealth from the department's Bureau of Justice Assistance.