Event held in Frankfort to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 12:04 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - An event was held in Frankfort Monday morning in honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

State officials say both men and women are victims of domestic violence and that it will take a collective effort to protect victims and their families.

Governor Andy Beshear said, as attorney general, he saw firsthand the trauma domestic violence victims experienced. He said the state must be committed to prosecuting abusers and providing victims with the resources they need to heal and be safe.

He signed a proclamation declaring October as domestic violence awareness month.

He also recognized the 25th anniversary of the Victim Information and Notification Everyday program, or VINE. It provides victims with notifications of their abusers’ movement through the court system.

“Victims can know when an offender is about to be released. This is vitally important, potentially life saving informs,” said Secretary Kerry Harvey, Justice & Public Safety Cabinet.

The VINE program started in Kentucky after the death of Mary Byron. She was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1993.

Gov. Beshear said the young woman did not know her life was in danger because she thought her ex-boyfriend was still in jail on charges for harming her. Mary’s parents hope the VINE program will keep other families from experiencing what they went through.

Representatives from the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence expressed how the program is working across the country to protect domestic violence victims.

“We know that almost half of Kentucky women have experienced physical violence, sexual violence, and or stalking during their lifetime,” said Angela Yannelli, CEO of Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “But, did you know, that this is the highest rate in the United States?

Beshear said if you see someone who needs help, try to intervene by saying something and if possible connecting them with available resources. If you or someone you know a victim of domestic violence you can contact 1-800-799-SAFE.

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