MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (6/12/14) — Law Enforcement Officers are often dispatched to calls concerning domestic violence.
Issues relating to domestic violence vary in type and intensity. A domestic issue may be as simple as a verbal altercation or may be an issue that has resulted in serious injury or death. Domestic violence has deeply affected every community.
The results of violence within the home are certainly disturbing. While a simple argument may not result in any short or long term serious problems, there are times when domestic violence will produce issues that will become catastrophic. Victims may suffer from physical injury and/or from serious emotional and mental health issues that can be painful both immediately and long term.
It is not uncommon for an abuser to use different tactics. Many Law Enforcement Officers have witnessed a broad range of abuse, ranging from verbal abuse to being held against one’s will.
While anyone may be a victim of domestic violence, commonly the victim is an adult female or a child.
Often the victim feels their situation is hopeless. They feel trapped and have been led to believe that if they remain silent, the suffering will be kept to a minimum.
A representative of Sanctuary, Inc. (Domestic Violence Help Agency) stated that women in their shelter have said some of the main reasons they would not leave their violent situations where: fear the abuse would become worse, concerns about the fairness of the legal process, fear of losing the provider, guilt and belief that the abuser would change.
It is not likely that abuse will simply stop. It is not uncommon for abusive situations to intensify. This makes it important to seek help when there is a domestic violence issue. Kentucky has laws in place that make it easy for law enforcement to assist those who have been physically abused. When a victim of a domestic situation has been physically injured, the officer may make an arrest without a warrant, even when the assault did not happen in the presence of the officer.
Victims may also contact the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (270) 338-4850 to apply for an Emergency Protective Order. After completing an application it will be sent to the District Court Judge for review. If the judge approves the order, it is served by the Sheriff’s Department. Once the order has been served, if the order is violated, the offender must be arrested. If the judge determines there is reason to believe the victim remains at risk, the judge may place a Domestic Violence Order into effect. This order will assist the victim for an extended period of time. The order may be instated for up to three years.
There are also crisis centers and hotlines that victims may contact for assistance. One such organization that is often seen supporting victims in our community is the one previously referred to, Sanctuary, Inc. They may be contacted at (270) 885-4572. There is a 24 hour crisis line available at (800) 766-0000.
There are also counselors who can offer help and guidance. One agency that is used to assist local victims is The Pennyroyal Center, (270) 338-5211, after hours (800) 264-5163. Other local counselors offer similar services.If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek assistance. The agencies listed above are only a few of those that are concerned about your wellbeing. Finally, if our office may be of assistance, please contact us at (270) 338-3345. For emergencies, dial 911.
Information provided by Darrel Curtis
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