Lawmakers look into changing who can get EPO

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by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 6:17 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)—Kentucky led the nation in passing laws to prevent domestic violence, but some are saying Kentucky needs to do more.

The VINE system, which notifies people when someone is being released from jail, was first used in Kentucky, before spreading to all 50 states. It came from the death of Mary Byron, who was murdered after her ex-boyfriend was released from prison without her knowing in 1993.

Lawmakers claim nearly 650,000 people in Kentucky suffer domestic abuse each year, which is higher than the national average.

Some lawmakers and the Byron Project said this number would be much lower if the state began to offer Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) to women in a dating relationship.

EPOs give a woman immediate protection from a man and let her call police the moment he is within a certain distance.

That's different from a criminal complaint in several big ways.

If a woman wanted a criminal complaint, it would require evidence and could take weeks, opening up the woman to getting harmed.

Representative John Tilley feels if a large of number of people use the order that means women feel they need the help.

Every state in the country, except Kentucky, offers a form of civil protection.  A UK study from 2011 shows one in three young women are victimized in some form on college campuses. This is type of law also affects older women dating.
 

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