Kentucky Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Kentucky?

Upon assigning this mission to the month, Governor Steve Beshear recently announced some sobering statistics:
Domestic violence crosses all spectrums – no matter your race, religion, economic or social standing. Anyone can be affected, One-third of Kentucky women report being abused at least once during their lifetime, and it is our duty as public officials, citizens, friends and neighbors to reduce this outspread of violence. Please join us in bringing awareness to the scope of domestic abuse and support victims in your communities.
One-third of Kentucky women report being abused at least once. That is a staggering, heart-breaking statistic.

Governor and Mrs. Beshear have worked hard to bring awareness and change to this situation. For the past five years, Mrs. Beshear has helped KDVA and anti-domestic violence advocates sponsor Shop and Share Day, a one-day drive to gather goods and necessities for domestic violence shelters across Kentucky. Since 2008, the drive has raised more than $2 million in goods and monetary donations. 

In addition to commemorating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, state legislators also announced that they will support a new dating domestic violence bill during the upcoming 2014 General Assembly. “Once a national leader in domestic violence protection, Kentucky has fallen behind,” said Rep. John Tilley, chair of the House Judiciary Committee.  “The next step is to include dating couples under this umbrella of protection, something more than 40 other states already provide.  I am committed to doing all I can to make sure the Commonwealth is on that list.” 

Kentucky is one of only four states that do not provide protection for dating violence victims. Research shows that young women between the ages of 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of intimate partner violence, and the state’s current protective order law does not protect victims of dating violence.

The organization formerly known as the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program recently re-branded itself as Greenhouse17. This organization brings social, legal, and housing services to help with crisis situations. Executive Director Darlene Thomas, 
We’ve been aware for a long time of the disconnect between our name and our mission.We take a holistic approach to helping people not simply to survive a crisis, but to grow as human beings and move on to lead full and fulfilling lives.Our new name, GreenHouse17, gets to the heart of what we do – nurture lives damaged by intimate partner violence – in 17 Kentucky counties
Greenhouse17 recently launched their 17 days/17 ways initiative, a way of bringing awareness of domestic violence to every Kentuckian with simple steps that we can all undertake. These aren't just an October mission; they're something we should all be doing every day. 

TUESDAY 10/1: Dial 911 if you see or hear about intimate partner abuse.

WEDNESDAY 10/2:Speak out. If you see or hear someone using abusive or controlling language, say “I don’t appreciate that,” and explain why it's unacceptable.

THURSDAY 10/3: Reach out to someone you think might be experiencing intimate partner abuse. Listen, believe in and support this person. Give them our toll free crisis hotline number: 800-544-2022.

FRIDAY 10/4:Add domestic violence to the list of crimes on your neighborhood watch list. 

SATURDAY 10/5: Volunteer your time at GreenHouse17. There’s always a long list of things to be done.

SUNDAY 10/6: Help your workplace or church develop a written policy regarding domestic violence if they don’t have one. Greenhouse17 can help. 

MONDAY 10/ 7: Purchase the fresh flowers and produce grown on the Greenhouse17 farm.Call 859-233-0657 to order.

TUESDAY 10/8:Invite educators to speak on domestic violence prevention at your school, church, civic group, or business. 

WEDNESDAY 10/9: Like GreenHouse17 on Facebook and share the page with your friends.

THURSDAY 10/10: Throw a GreenHouse party and ask guests to bring items to donate to our shelter.

FRIDAY 10/11: Talk to the young adults in your life about healthy relationships. Help them recognize the signs of dating violence. 

SATURDAY 10/12 Donate to GreenHouse17. Money, goods and supplies are always welcome. Donate gently used clothing and furniture in the name of Greenhouse17 to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity. They’ll exchange these for vouchers so Greenhouse17 families can shop for what they need. 

SUNDAY 10/13: Tell your state representatives you support protections for survivors of domestic violence. 

MONDAY 10/14: Ask yourself honestly if your own behavior is truly violence-free. 

TUESDAY 10/15:Write a letter to your local paper describing the problem of domestic violence in your community and suggest solutions like these. 

WEDNESDAY 10/16: Adopt GreenHouse17 where you work so your co-workers are encouraged to donate money and allowed time off to volunteer. 

THURSDAY 10/17: Believe that your voice and actions can make a difference. 

Please, this month, educate yourself about domestic violence, and lend a hand in some small way. Contact your local legislator and let him or her know your concerns. There are a lot of Kentuckians who are truly suffering.