Mara Powell

Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director, Kentucky Youth Advocates

LOUISVILLE, KY – Kentucky has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the nation. And, for the Commonwealth’s nearly 17,000 child victims of abuse or neglect, over 50 percent had family violence as a risk factor. Domestic violence can take many forms, including controlling behaviors, isolation, threats of suicide or murder, threats to take the children, and serious injuries – and can have immediate and long-term impacts on child well-being. These are the realities too many families face every day.

Today, we are celebrating the passage of House Bill 83 by the House Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee as they took the first step to improve the outcomes for these vulnerable families. The measure, sponsored by Representatives Nima Kulkarni and Samara Heavrin, will ensure unemployment insurance is available for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking so they can support themselves and their children. Employment and financial independence are critical for survivors of domestic violence to be able to support themselves and their children.

We thank Representatives Kulkarni and Heavrin for championing this measure for families impacted and the Committee for ensuring its passage today. We now call on the Kentucky House to support HB 83 so it can advance through the legislative process before the final gavel in April.

Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at