Violence and Abuse
Every adult in Kentucky is under a duty to report child abuse to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Every person in the Commonwealth, regardless of age or immigration status, may obtain a Court Order of Protection if you are the victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as physical injury, serious physical injury, stalking, sexual abuse, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault by a family member. A “family member” includes a spouse, former spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, child, stepchild or any other person living in the same household, or by dating partner. A dating partner or ex-dating partner may be included in this definition, even if you never lived together. If you are the victim of domestic violence by a family member, you may petition the court for an Emergency Protective Order. Every county has a place where you may file for this protection 24 hours a day. A parent may file for protection on behalf of his or her child.
If a Judge grants your Petition for an Emergency Protective Order, you, the “Petitioner” will be issued an Order of Protection restraining the person who caused the abuse, called the “Respondent”, from having any contact with you or harming you (among other things) until you have a hearing before a Judge. The Respondent will be served with the Order of Protection. The Petitioner is to be notified after the Respondent is served with the Order of Protection. The Court will schedule a hearing within 14 days of your Emergency Protective Order being issued to determine if a Domestic Violence Order should be issued. Both the Petitioner and the Respondent are to be present at the hearing. After the hearing, the Court may issue a Domestic Violence Order restraining the Respondent from certain acts against the Petitioner. The Court may also award certain other relief, such as custody and child support. This Order may be in place for up to three years and may be extended upon a motion filed by the Petitioner.If you are served with an Emergency Protective Order, or a Domestic Violence Order, you must follow the terms set forth in the Order. That Order could call for no contact whatsoever with the Petitioner. If that is the case, you may not have any contact with the Petitioner, either directly or through third parties. You may not send gifts or contact the Petitioner through social media. You could be arrested if you violate the terms of an Emergency Protective Order or a Domestic Violence Order. You may not possess a firearm if you have a Domestic Violence Order against you.