KSP Domestic Victim Advocates help more than 1,900 people since start of program

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A time to acknowledge how domestic abuse impacts individuals and families, and to learn how to be a voice for victims.

“Domestic violence is a very serious issue, we have quite a few calls of that nature on a weekly basis,” Trooper Daniel Priddy, with KSP Post 3, said. One in four women and one in seven men are estimated to be a victim of domestic abuse.

“You see a lot of things when you go to these calls, you know, they kind of vary in nature of how traumatic they could be and, different things, not only the victims but the children that may see,” Trooper Priddy explained.

In 2019, Kentucky State Police implemented a program called Victim Advocate Support Services (VASS). Advocates administer care to crime victims, or those involved in traumatic events, connecting them with immediate resources, such as mental health services, crisis intervention or legal support.

“It’s extremely important to make sure that somebody is there that’s trained, that can help these victims,” Trooper Priddy said. “We try our best to come in, but a lot of times they need somebody that’s got the resources, or they know how to get in touch with some of the resources, for victims of domestic violence.”

The program has helped more than 1,900 individuals since it started in 2019. “One of the most important things about domestic violence, in investigations like that, is for the victim to feel comfortable coming forward, and to be able to report things that are going on, because that’s what we have to have to be able to pursue criminal charges and to investigate incidents,” Trooper Priddy said.

Trooper Priddy reminded the public that if you are in an abusive situation there is help out there, especially with the VASS program. “The first step is to make sure that our victims feel like they’re going to be protected that they can get help,” he said. “Our main goal is to make sure that we can stop as much as this as possible.”

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