The last day of the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly represented an historic moment in the effort to protect victims of dating violence. HB 8, which will extend protective orders to people in dating relationships, passed the Kentucky Senate. Then, the House concurred with Senate changes, and the bill now heads to the Governor for his signature to become law. This legislation represents a priority on the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children because it will help protect victims of teen dating violence and children of parents who experience dating violence. With violence having such a negative long-term impact on child health and well-being, it is imperative to provide immediate protections to people in these situations.

We thank Senate and House leadership for working on a bi-partisan solution to HB 8 in order to pass it this session. We thank Representative John Tilley for sponsoring HB 8 and Senator Whitney Westerfield for carrying it in the Senate. We thank all Senators who stood up for the safety of children by voting for the bill on the last day of session and the House for concurring with the Senate changes. We know this bill has had many leaders and supporters in the legislature, and we thank all who were committed to this priority to make it happen this session.

After several years of trying to extend these protections, HB 8 will become a reality for victims who need it. This is another reason to thank the Kentucky legislature for prioritizing the safety of children in the Commonwealth this session.