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Kentucky Releases Annual Domestic Violence Report

Beshear-Coleman administration remains focused on providing victim services, obtaining justice

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 1, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear released the 2023 Kentucky Domestic Violence Data Report, which compiles statistics from across the commonwealth to assist in combating crime as well as seeking justice for survivors. The administration released the first statewide data report in June 2023.

When comparing the statistics in this report with the previous year, there were more emergency protective orders served by the Kentucky State Police, law enforcement filed more electronic JC3 forms, which is completed upon responding to a report of domestic violence, dating violence or abuse to track incidents and arrests and assist victims with filing for emergency protective orders, and ZeroV, the state's coalition of domestic violence shelters, received more calls to the hotline for assistance. The statistics also indicate a decrease in arrests and individuals served by ZeroV. The decrease in arrests is related to this year's report having a narrower definition of a domestic violence arrest, excluding human trafficking, to help provide the state a better snapshot for progress to be made.

“It is heartbreaking how many Kentuckians are victims of domestic violence," said Gov. Beshear. “That's why, since day one in public office, I have been committed to working with partners to end this horrific crime, assist victims, reverse dangerous trends and hold offenders accountable. My administration continues to wrap our arms around victims and their families, letting them know that we are, and always will be, here for them."

“The numbers in this year's report are similar to the previous year, which means we still have a lot of work left to do," said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Keith Jackson. “I ask that the commonwealth increase collaboration among advocacy groups, law enforcement, prosecutors and the judicial system. Let's create a new Kentucky home together, one where our children are safer and victims have every opportunity to rebuild their lives."

According to the 2023 report:

  • 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men in Kentucky have experienced domestic violence.
  • 41,887 electronic JC-3 forms were filed.
  • 7,744 arrests were made for incidents involving domestic or dating violence and abuse.
  • 17,036 Emergency Protective Orders were served by the Kentucky State Police.
  • 15,104 individuals received services from ZeroV's 15 regional domestic violence programs.
  • 23,381 crisis/hotline calls were received through ZeroV's 15 regional domestic violence programs.

Since taking office, the Governor has signed into law Senate Bill 271 and House Bill 535 requiring the collection and analysis of data related to domestic violence in the commonwealth, including domestic violence arrests, domestic violence shelter use and reports of child abuse. In March, Gov. Beshear signed into law House Bill 207, strengthening the language in statute to include other forms of abuse and sexual exploitation of minors.

The following agencies provided data for the report; Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center, Kentucky State Police, Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Administrative Office of the Courts.

Even before his time as Governor, Gov. Beshear consistently championed reducing and preventing domestic and dating violence and abuse while helping victims and survivors receive the services they need.

Since taking office, the Beshear-Coleman administration has awarded more than $133 million in grant funding to victim service agencies across the commonwealth. In April, the Governor announced that applications are available for an additional $15 million in grant funding to support victims of crime under the federal Victims of Crime Act program, known as VOCA. These awards are expected to be announced in September.

In November, the Governor announced that, to improve outcomes for survivors, the executive, judicial and legislative branches, as well as the Kentucky State Police, Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of the Courts, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet's Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center and ZeroV are partnering with the CSG Justice Center. This is the council's largest statewide domestic violence data project. The group will analyze domestic violence data and then make policy recommendations to improve services and prevent victimization. This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 at no cost to Kentuckians.

In April, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 319, increasing award amounts, expanding reimbursement categories and adding caregivers to the persons eligible for reimbursement from the Crime Victims Compensation Fund. Effective July 15, the maximum amount for compensation increases from $30,000 to $50,000; lost wages awards are increased from $300 per week to $500 per week; and funeral expense reimbursement is increased from $7,500 to $10,000. In addition to increased award amounts, new categories including relocation services, temporary housing, wellness practices, tattoo removal for victims of human trafficking, crime scene cleanup, repair of windows and locks, reimbursement of items seized as evidence and expenses to attend court proceedings will be eligible for reimbursement.

The KSP Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) investigative team was formed in July 2021 after the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $1.5 million to the commonwealth to leverage existing investigative resources within the KSP Crime Lab by transitioning investigators and a criminal intelligence analyst from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General to KSP. The team works with victims, law enforcement partners, prosecutors and community partners to provide enhanced investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases. 

In October of last year, Gov. Beshear announced that an additional $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Justice had been awarded to the KSP SAKI investigative team to enhance its critical work by hiring additional personnel dedicated to testing sexual assault kits and improving sexual assault data collection to better identify predators. This funding was the second-largest award in the history of the commonwealth from the department's Bureau of Justice Assistance. 

Since 2021, the team has aided numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the commonwealth on more than 985 cases and taken the lead as investigator on approximately 100 cases. 

Get Help Now
If you have experienced sexual violence and need support or information about available services, remember you are not alone. Kentucky's domestic violence programs and shelters are open 24/7 and are safe for survivors and their families to receive emergency shelter and supportive services. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and needs assistance, please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 800-799-SAFE or clicking here

You can reach out to the 24-hour Rape Crisis Line at 800-656-HOPE (4673) to connect with a sexual assault service provider near you or contact your local KSP Post to connect with a victim advocate.