Kentucky Lawmakers pass bill to extend domestic violence protect - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Lawmakers pass bill to extend domestic violence protections

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Now people who reach out to The Center For Women and Families don't have to be married or living with an abuser to get help or protection. Supporters say it is a step in the right direction. Now people who reach out to The Center For Women and Families don't have to be married or living with an abuser to get help or protection. Supporters say it is a step in the right direction.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that will extend the domestic violence laws already on the books to dating couples. 

Now people who reach out to The Center For Women and Families don't have to be married or living with an abuser to get help or protection.

"Our daughter, Mary Frances Byron was murdered in 1993 on her 21st birthday by her ex-boyfriend," said Pat Byron, mother of domestic violence victim.

In 1993, there were no laws on the books in Kentucky to protect Byron's daughter Mary from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

"The last ten years is when we started the push for the protective order," Byron said.

It has been a long journey, but on Wednesday morning, Kentucky lawmakers sent a bill to the governor's desk that will allow victims of dating violence to take out emergency protective orders against abusers or stalkers.

"This is huge it is a day to celebrate in Kentucky," said Marta Miranda, President & CEO for The Center for Women and Families.

Miranda is celebrating passage of the so called "dating violence act" and believes it will save lives.

"Mostly young people were totally unprotected and not able to get a protective order which puts them at great risk for being killed," she said.

According to the Centers for disease control, 638,000 Kentucky women were raped, stalked or suffered some form of physical attack by a romantic partner as of 2010.

"People really don't understand that it is life-threatening and now it is life giving," Miranda said.

It has been a labor of love for Miranda and other advocates, but she commends Kentucky lawmakers for passing House Bill 8. "You know, rape and sexual assault and domestic violence do not know political parties," said Miranda.

"It is a step. It's a step in protection," said Byron.

It is a step that was not available for her daughter, but Pat Byron is hopeful the new bill will help save someone else.

"It brings something good out of something bad," she explained.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is expected to sign the bill in the next few weeks. The new law will then take effect in January of next year.

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