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Report: 45% of Ky. women, 35% of Ky. men experience domestic abuse during lifetimes

This story contains mentions of domestic violence and domestic abuse. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, help is available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). 

A new data report from Kentucky’s Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center found that nearly half of Kentucky women — and over one-third of Kentucky men — experience physical violence, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner at some point during their lives.

The 2022 Domestic Violence Data Report, released last week by the state, is the first statewide report in Kentucky history. It compiled data from several local and statewide agencies, including the Administrative Office of the Courts, Kentucky State Police, and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to take a comprehensive look at how domestic violence impacts Kentuckians.

Last year, the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 271, an act requiring the Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center –a division of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet – to submit statewide domestic violence reports every year. The data report includes information such as the number of domestic violence-related arrests, the number of emergency protection orders issued statewide and the number of people utilizing shelter and counseling services from domestic violence shelter programs.

“Quality data is critical for the criminal justice system as we work to enhance public safety,” Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey said in a press release. “Better data will lead to more effective prevention efforts and will be a useful tool for law enforcement agencies, courts and service providers.”

According to the report, 45.3% of women in Kentucky and 35.5% of men experience domestic violence or stalking during their lifetimes.

Kentucky State Police and local law enforcement agencies are statutorilymandated to collectdata on how many calls for service involving domestic and dating violence officers respond to. Those agencies send that information to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, who work to connect victims to needed services.

In 2022, there were 8,867 arrests for incidents involving domestic violence, according to state law enforcement data.

Law enforcement officers served 16,402 emergency protective orders across the state last year, according to the state data report. Agencies received 19,986 orders to serve, according to data from the Law Enforcement Network of Kentucky.

The state’s data report also found that 16,406 women, men and children used some form of service from a domestic violence sheltering program in Kentucky in 2022. Of those, 3,241 people were sheltered, and 12,805 people used non-sheltering support services.

Kentucky’s domestic violence shelter programs provided nearly 150,000 shelter nights to domestic violence victims.

Those domestic violence shelter programs also answered over 21,000 hotline and crisis calls in the last year.

Hannah Saad is the Assistant News Director for WKMS. Originally from Michigan, Hannah earned her bachelor’s degree in news media from The University of Alabama in 2021. Hannah moved to western Kentucky in the summer of 2021 to start the next chapter of her life after graduation. Prior to joining WKMS in March 2023, Hannah was a news reporter at The Paducah Sun. Her goal at WKMS is to share the stories of the region from those who call it home. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys exploring local restaurants, sports photography, painting, and spending time with her fiancé and two dogs.
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