Posted on July 29, by The Mary Byron Project Kentucky House Bill 98 would have introduced a series of educational and policy requirements regarding teen dating violence for school districts and high school educational staff.
It failed in the Senate — and this was even after a committee amendment gutted both the requirement that every school board adopt a policy related to teen dating violence and the statewide data collection system to compile reports of teen dating violence.
The bizarre and myopic refusal to support these kinds of protections puts actual lives in danger. The bill was approved by a House committee five times in the past five years, giving legislators plenty of time to educate themselves on this legislation and its implications.
Older dating couples who are not cohabitating also experience abuse to a surprising degree. And these are the nationwide statistics — Kentucky is even worse. Kentucky high schoolers report being hit, slapped, or otherwise physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend at some point in the previous year at a rate of upwards of As tragic as it may be, teenagers are not exempt from abusing, seriously harming, or even murdering their partners.
It might be that long, long ago maybe ? Given recent research into the prevalence of high school dating violence, though, it should be clear that abuse can rear its ugly head anywhere.
The — significantly smaller — extra costs potentially associated with expanding these civil protections can help save people who otherwise would have to live lives of insecurity, dread, or downright terror.
This kind of argument is a tough sell for some people, the kinds who are only concerned about cost savings. University of Louisville researcher TK Logan has done a considerable amount of research on the cost increases or savings associated with civil protective orders , and has found that while there are typically high costs associated with intimate partner violence before and after civil protection is implemented, issuing domestic violence orders typically results in cost savings.
The actual cost of the court time and resources is less than the large decrease in quality-of-life costs, health service costs, police and justice system costs, and costs from property loss. Intimate partner violence is a huge burden on our criminal justice and healthcare systems, as well as the overall safety and productivity of society.
Steps to reduce it are worth some short-term cost. Sometimes people respond better to shaming and humiliation. They should consider this: Kentucky is literally the only state in the union without any kind of civil protection for victims of dating violence.
Please share the map below to let others know exactly how behind Kentucky is when it comes to these protections.