Attorney General Beshear to Create New Unit to Focus on Prosecuting Sexual Assault
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said only three percent of sexual assaults result in a conviction in court and prosecution of those cases must be stepped up. He spoke on the campus of Western Kentucky University on Oct. 9 as part of events to mark National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Beshear said there’s an important development in the works that will increase the rate of prosecution for sexual assaults in Kentucky.
“We are making a major announcement on Wednesday that is a very large grant that will fund an entirely new unit in my office that will work day in and day out to seek justice for victims of rape and sexual assault, specifically those that have waited far too long and been denied justice."
The Attorney General pointed to the need for legal and cultural changes that will decrease the incidence of domestic violence.
“We have to investigate these cases differently and actually prosecute. And we’ve got to make sure that our local prosecutors and state prosecutors are doing that. We have to change our policies to where we’re promoting healthy relationships from top to bottom.”
He said one-in-two women in Kentucky will be subjected to some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
Beshear said his Office of Victims Advocacy has assisted nearly 400 victims of domestic violence in the past two years.
At the beginning of this year, his office launched the first Survivors Council in the nation, with members who are survivors of violent crimes.