DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
OCTOBER 1, 1996


WE ARE HERE TODAY TO BRING THE FOCUS OF THE COMMONWEALTH TO A CRIME WHICH THREATENS THE WELFARE OF THOUSANDS OF KENTUCKIANS.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KILLS TOO MANY OF OUR CITIZENS EVERY YEAR, AND BRINGS TRAGEDY TO EVERY FAMILY WHOSE LIVES IT TOUCHES.

TODAY I WILL ISSUE A PROCLAMATION WHICH, IN SHORT, WILL COMMUNICATE THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS CRIME WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

WHEN I BECAME GOVERNOR, I ESTABLISHED A NUMBER OF KEY PRIORITIES FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION WITH THE BELIEF THAT KENTUCKY'S FUTURE DEPENDS UPON THE SUCCESSFUL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ITS FAMILIES.

OUR GOALS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, QUALITY EDUCATION AND STRONG FAMILIES CANNOT BE REALIZED, HOWEVER, IF OUR CITIZENS DO NOT FEEL SAFE IN THEIR HOMES.

I BELIEVE THAT WE IN GOVERNMENT HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO PRESERVE THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENRY -

WHETHER THAT SAFETY IS THREATENED BY A STRANGER ON THE STREET OR BEHIND CLOSED DOORS BY THE VIOLENT HANDS OF A FAMILY MEMBER.

FULLY ASSUMING THIS RESPONSIBILITY IS WHAT HUMANITY AND JUSTICE TELL US WE MUST DO.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE MUST DO IF WE ARE TO MOVE KENTUCKY FORWARD INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.

FOR THE PATTON ADMINISTRATION, ADDRESSING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A PRIORITY:

* IN JANUARY, I CREATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER THE GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND NAMED THE COMMONWEALTH'S FIRST LADY AS CHAIR.

THE COUNCIL'S TWENTY-NINE MEMBERS ARE A MULTIDISCIPLINARY GROUP OF PROFESSIONALS AND ADVOCATES WHO HAVE JOINED WITH OUR ADMINISTRATION TO FULLY AND COMPREHENSIVELY ADDRESS THIS CRIME;

* IN FEBRUARY, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO CAME TO KENTUCKY TO ANNOUNCE THAT THIS STATE WOULD RECEIVE A ONE-OF-A-KIND GRANT TO IMPLEMENT KEY PORTIONS OF THE FEDERAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT;

* IN APRIL, I CREATED THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES AND LOCATED IT ON THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE CAPITOL OF THE COMMONWEALTH TO MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT ITS IMPORTANCE.

THE OFFICE, TO WHICH THE FIRST LADY SERVES AS SPECIAL ADVISOR, IS THE FOCAL POINT FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION'S INITIATIVES TO ADDRESS CHILD ABUSE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT;

* IN APRIL, I SIGNED INTO LAW THE COMPREHENSIVE PACKAGE OF REFORM LEGISLATION PASSED BY A GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHICH SHARES OUR INTEREST IN IMPROVING THE STATE'S RESPONSE TO THE CRIME OF DOMESTIC ABUSE;

* IN AUGUST, I CREATED A JUDICIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES TO IMPROVE NEEDED DIALOGUE WITH THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT ON ISSUES RELATED TO DOMESTIC ABUSE AND CHILD VICTIMIZATION.

THESE KINDS OF INITIATIVES AND REFORMS WILL BECOME CHARACTERISTIC OF AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH WILL PRESERVE THE SAFETY OF ITS CITIZENS AND WHICH WILL NOT TOLERATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

AT THIS TIME, IT IS MY GREAT HONOR TO INTRODUCE TO YOU THE CHAIR OF THE GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE FIRST LADY OF THE COMMONWEALTH, MRS. JUDI PATTON.