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Snapshot of Domestic Violence in KY – 1,300+ Helped on a Typical Day

February 12, 2009

Frankfort, KY – A snapshot of domestic violence in Kentucky isn't pretty. The new National Census of Domestic Violence Services shows that more than 1,300 Kentucky residents asked for help in a single day. About 500 needed emergency shelter. Others needed legal advice, a support group or counseling. But 159 who needed some type of help were turned away because domestic violence agencies did not have enough funding or staff to meet the demand.

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association president Ann Perkins says the number of Kentuckians going without help is even higher than the census shows.

"Lots of families out there are untouched by us because of accessibility or overcrowding."

Domestic violence assistance programs are threatened by the state's financial crisis, Perkins adds. She warns that if their funding is cut, the number of people calling for help who are turned away will rise.

Perkins says domestic violence funding goes a long way because programs provide more than shelter: They help make sure that families don't return to violent situations.

"These services can turn lives around and save lives. Future generations can break the cycle of violence by having that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave."

Calls to fifteen domestic violence programs were tallied in the census. Nationally, the one-day snapshot showed almost 61,000 adults and children were helped that day, while close to 9,000 were turned away.

The National Census of Domestic Violence Services comes from the National Network to End Domestic Violence. It is available at www.nnedv.org/census.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - KY