Lawmakers: push to protect victims of domestic violence
PADUCAH, Ky - She asked we not share her name or show her face. But, 'Renee's' message is loud and clear. She is the victim of decades of domestic abuse and wants to see the laws to protect victims strengthened.
"He used to brag about the fact he could injure me without it being obvious to other people," she said of her abuser.
"He broke my nose, he would urinate on me. These were frequent events," she continued.
But because Renee and her boyfriend were not living under the same roof and they were not married, she was not able to get a domestic violence order.
Renee has left that relationship. She is now living with a dozen other women at the Merryman House. Through her experiences and theirs, she knows how important DVO'S are and believes they should be available to everyone.
"I think its an extremely poor reflection on the commonwealth, we need to get on the same page as everyone else," she said.
Currently, DVO's are currently limited to those who are married or living with their abuser or have a child with that person. The law does not always offer protection to those couples that are dating. Just last week, the Kentucky House passed House Bill 9 which would extend protection to those couples.
Representative Will Coursey was a co-sponsor of the bill.
During a phone interview, he told Local 6, "I think it's high time we start helping some of these folks and this legislation is an awfully good start. I feel good about its passage and I hope the Kentucky State Senate will see fit to hear it."
"It's the right thing to do," Mary Foley, the Director at the Merryman House, said.
She says the law should protect everyone, "We're basically saying then you're not afforded the right to be safe, you're not afforded the right to be protected."
Renee, for her part, wishes the law would have been around to protect her, "It could have saved years of anguish."
There are just two weeks left in this session for the Senate to hear and vote on the bill.