Legal Aid awarded $500,000 to help domestic violence victims - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Legal Aid awarded $500,000 to help domestic violence victims

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Kimberly Moore Kimberly Moore
Sarah Caragianis Sarah Caragianis

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From name calling and beatings to murder. It is the reality for thousands of domestic violence victims, and that's why a lot of people are celebrating the big boost that a local organization just received. It will help in the effort to protect victims in Kentuckiana.

Surprisingly, while working on this story, we saw a disturbing example of why the money is needed. It was a Tuesday afternoon and Metro Police and EMS were responding to a call of a woman down.

"Well I was waiting for you to come so we could talk about domestic violence and you come out back and there's a fight where a guy is hitting his girlfriend," said Kimberly Moore, domestic violence survivor.

Turns out, it's a domestic violence case - right where we were set to meet with Moore about the issue. "To watch that, and I'm screaming, don't hit her in her face anymore," said Moore.

Moore not only witnessed the fight, but she also once lived it. "I think I probably been hit in the face so hard that the blood vessels in my eye were broke. I've been stabbed in arm a couple of times. So, when you choose those kinds of people, shame will keep you quiet," Moore explained.

That's why Moore is excited about a half million dollar federal grant recently awarded to the Legal Aid Society.

"We found out last week that we would be renewed, we've actually had the grant for three years," said Sarah Caragianis, Senior Attorney of The Family Law Unit for the Legal Aid Society.

The grant was provided under the violence against women act and is expanding to other counties this year.

Caragianis said, "Shelby, Oldham and Bullitt, it also allows us to concentrate on sexual assault victims on campus in Jefferson County."

According to Metro Police, several of the last ten homicides have been related to domestic violence.

"We probably serve almost a thousand victims of domestic violence just in our office each year," said Caragianis.

And that's why the grant money will be used to help victims before things escalate to a homicide, or the kinds of domestic violence making national news involving NFL running back Ray Rice...caught on camera punching his then fiancee', now wife.

"All of those additional issues are where this picks up, it picks up after the domestic violence protection hearing and says what do you need now," said Caragianis.

Kimberly Moore hopes domestic violence victims will take the help. She also hopes it's the last time she has to witness one of them being carried away like this.

"I hope today was the last day but I know it's probably not going to be the last day and it might not be the last day but the reality of ending it could get here sooner when you have grants like that," said Moore.

This is a three year grant; once the money runs out, legal aid will apply for more.

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