New state Senate bill would protect victims of domestic violence, sponsors say

A bill proposed in the state Senate would protect the privacy of victims of domestic violence, according to sponsors.
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 4:46 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A bill proposed in the state Senate would protect the privacy of victims of domestic violence, according to sponsors.

Kentucky State Police is investigating a murder-suicide that happened Friday afternoon in lincoln county.

KSP’s early investigation indicates that 51-year-old Jamie Fowler was shot by 52-year-old Steven Hiter before he turned the gun on himself. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

“Survivors of domestic violence deserve to be safe in their homes,” said the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence CEO Angela Yannelli.

Senator Julie Racque Adams, R-Louisville, is introducing Senate Bill 79, aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other sexual offenses.

“I kind of make it my mission to be one of those advocates in the General Assembly for Kentucky families and children facing plights who feel like they have no voice,” said Senator Adams.

Senator Adams says 45% of women and 36% of men in Kentucky have experienced domestic violence.

The problem lies in protecting privacy and removing access for an abuser.

“Of course, there are other reasons people don’t want to go to court and deal with all of that,” said Secretary of State Michael Adams. “This is a much easier process to do. It lasts for four years and just essentially requires an application.”

Secretary Adams says his office already offers an “address confidentiality program” to allow someone with a protective order to mask their address on voting records.

This new measure would remove some of the barriers and expand the service to other publicly available government records.

“Participation in his program is probably a lot lower because not everybody seeks or gets a protective order. The same as not everybody seeks or gets the perpetrator convicted of a crime or assault or whatever,” said a representative with the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Instead of a protective order, participants would sign a sworn statement which would bring Kentucky in line with other states.

The committee meets again on Wednesday, and senator Adams has been given assurances that her bill will be heard.

Secretary Adams says due to barriers; the current address protection program has fewer than 50 participants state-wide.