Beshear Kicks Off Domestic Violence Awareness Month at WKU

Sep 26, 2016

Credit Lisa Autry

Following some high-profile rape cases across the nation, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says Kentucky’s college campuses have not been exempt from sexual violence. 

Beshear was at Western Kentucky University Monday to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.  He spoke of efforts underway to prevent sexual assault on the state’s campuses. 

Beshear's office, in May, transferred $4.5 million to the Kentucky State Police crime lab to ease a backlog of untested rape kits. Beshear called it the most profound moment yet during his nine months in office.

"Why?  Because that was every dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny that they said they needed to hire more people, train them, and buy more equipment so that this commonwealth would never ever have a rape kit backlog again," remarked Beshear.

Beshear said his office is also providing training this week to circuit clerks on how to better handle domestic violence cases in the courts.  Next month, prosecutors, law enforcement, and victim advocates will be trained on how to help prevent domestic violence fatalities. 

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear and WKU President Gary Ransdell sign a proclamation making October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Credit Lisa Autry

National statistics show one in three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

The attorney general praised WKU for implementing the Green Dot program which is aimed at making schools and campuses safer by empowering bystanders to help prevent certain behaviors.  The effort has been credited with reducing harassment, stalking, and dating violence across the state where it is offered.