KSP urging people to check on friends, family to keep domestic violence from going unnoticed

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 11:42 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

It’s a time set aside to acknowledge domestic violence survivors and to be a voice for the victims.

Kentucky State Police has a program aiming to help anyone who has been affected.

No matter who you are or where you’re from, experts say you’re at risk of becoming a victim of domestic violence in your lifetime.

Josh Lawson, commander of the Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Branch, says one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and one in seven men.

In the commonwealth, these odds can be even worse. Lawson says Kentucky ranks higher than most states when it comes to both domestic violence and child abuse cases.

In response to the high number of victims, state police hired 16 victim advocates, one at each KSP post across the commonwealth. It’s part of a program launched in the Fall of 2019 called Victim Advocate Support Services, or VASS.

Advocates help in many ways, including monetary compensation and mental health services.

This year, Lawson says the number of domestic violence cases reported has gone down. He Lawson says this might be an outcome of COVID-19, which could be causing cases to go unreported.

“Families kind of being quarantined, staying at home, working from home, not interreacting with family and friends and the public that much,” Lawson said.

Lawson says anonymous calls can be made. He says to check on family members and friends to keep cases from going unnoticed.

If you or someone you know needs help through the VASS program, you can contact your local post to speak to the victim advocate.

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