POV | Dating Abuse is Domestic Abuse - WDRB 41 Louisville News

POV | Dating Abuse is Domestic Abuse

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Since its passage in 1984, the Kentucky Domestic Violence and Abuse Act has saved the lives of many victims of domestic violence, and kept many more from being seriously harmed. It allows victims to acquire emergency protective orders – known as EPOs -- against abusive spouses, former spouses, present and former live-in companions or anyone with whom the victim has a child in common.

That may sound pretty comprehensive. But in reality, it doesn't go far enough because it doesn't apply to women – or men – who experience abuse in a dating relationship if the two parties don't live together.

This is a problem, because even though many may not live with their tormentors, teenage and young adult women are among the most at-risk groups when it comes to being victimized by their partners.

They can, of course, file charges against their attackers. But legal matters take time to get to the courtroom. And without the protection of an EPO, the probability of further – and probably escalated – violence rises precipitously during that dangerous interlude.

Amazingly, Kentucky is the only state in the union that doesn't extend such protection to dating partners. And that has to change.

Domestic relationships come in many more forms today than when we were kids. It's imperative that our lawmakers recognize this, and I urge them to bring this law into the 21st century during the coming legislative session.

I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.
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