Health and Family Services Cabinet
Governor Fletcher to sign Domestic Violence Month proclamation; New housing assistance program for victims to be announced
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2005) -- Governor Ernie Fletcher will proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Kentucky at a ceremony Oct. 3 at in the Capitol rotunda. The Governor will also use the occasion to announce a new housing assistance program for displaced victims of domestic violence.
“Domestic violence has a devastating impact on its victims,” said Governor Fletcher. “It endangers children, destroys families and creates a culture of secrecy and isolation that affects us all.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, by the most conservative estimate, each year 1 million women are victims of domestic violence. During the six months following a domestic violence episode, one-third of battered women are re-victimized.
“Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time for the commonwealth to renew its commitment to bringing an end to violence in the home and restore hope and healing to victims,” said Lisa Holmes, president of the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association.
The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association is a coalition of Kentucky’s 16 domestic violence centers. With funding from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the federal government, communities, private grants and donations, Kentucky’s domestic violence programs sheltered more than 4,300 women and children in 2004 and provided non-residential services to another 25,000 individuals.
Sharon Hilborn, director of the Division of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services in CHFS, said that during the proclamation ceremony, Governor Fletcher will introduce Safe Start, a new program aimed at helping displaced domestic violence victims obtain safe, affordable housing.
The program, offered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation, provides housing vouchers to domestic violence victims in shelters. “Clients not only will be eligible for housing assistance opportunities, they’ll also benefit from supportive services to address the causes of their homelessness as well as other needs to increase their chances for success,” said Ben Cook, chief executive officer for KHC.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been annual observance since 1987 to raise public awareness of the personal, community and social impact of domestic violence as a means to make homes and families safer and stronger.