Wednesday February 3, 2010
For Immediate Release
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
In 2008, 25 per cent of Metro Louisville’s homicides were related to domestic violence. In that same year, the Domestic Violence Intake Center provided services to 4,100 victims of domestic violence. In the last decade, local law enforcement has devoted resources and personnel to not only help victims but prevent abuse.
Now a call has gone out asking the Jefferson District Court system to become a stronger partner in fighting the crime of Domestic Violence.
“The time has come to single out domestic violence cases here in Metro Louisville in our local court system,” says Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). “Too often domestic violence victims are placed on the general court docket and their needs and legal protection are getting lost in the shuffle.”
Welch has introduced a resolution calling upon the Kentucky Supreme Court and the Jefferson County District Court General Term to create two separate domestic violence court dockets. The resolution went before the Metro Council Public Safety Committee on Wednesday.
“Domestic Violence is a serious and complex crime. I have a dedicated Domestic Violence prosecution unit to give these cases the attention they require,” says Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell who appeared with Welch. “Community partners, including Metro Council, have just expanded and consolidated the Domestic Violence Intake Center to better serve these victims. Dedicated Domestic Violence Courts are the next logical step, and the only missing element in this community’s commitment to combating Domestic Violence crimes. I appreciate the Council’s efforts to make Domestic Violence Courts a reality.”
The resolution is just one of many measures the Metro Council has taken over the years to fight domestic violence.]
In 2009, the Council approved $34,500 in Neighborhood Development Funding and Construction Infrastructure Funds for the expansion of the Domestic Violence Intake Center for Jefferson County.
“Public Safety has always been a top priority for the Metro Council and in this case, two separate court dockets could go a long way in helping victims who have already been abused,” says Welch. “It will show them that we want to protect them and their families.”
Joining Welch and O’Connell at the committee meeting to testify; Susan Ely, Division Chief of the Jefferson County Attorney's Domestic Violence Unit, Marcia Roth and Kathy Clemons of the Mary Byron Foundation.
The Committee unanimously passed the resolution. It now moves on to the Metro Council for a final vote on Thursday, February 11th.
Vicki Aubrey Welch (D) 13