FRANKFORT, Ky. — Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, and Secretary of State Michael Adams have worked to introduce a bill that better protects survivors of domestic violence. 

What You Need To Know

  •  Senate Bill 79 was filed by Senator Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville

  •  It would hide domestic violence survivors' addresses from most public records

  •  This makes it harder for offenders to find victims

  • 38 other states already have a similar program in place

Senate Bill 79, the Safe at Home Act, overhauls a program already in place, the Address Confidentiality Program. The AEP masks survivor’s addresses on voting records only, something Secretary Adams says, doesn’t go far enough. 

Kentucky is also among the states with the highest domestic violence rates.

“The existing address confidentiality program is extremely limited and has fewer than 50 participants statewide,” Sec. Adams said. 

SB 79 would expand address masking significantly, hiding the information from nearly all government agency public records.  

“When a victim decides to leave and find a safe place, often her abuser is able to find her. Sometimes by finding her location through easily accessible and free public records,” Sec. Adams said. "We can and must do more to protect victims.”

The bill also eliminates the requirement of a protective order, which Secretary Adams says can sometimes be cumbersome to attain or not fit the criteria of a survivor's case. 

“Requiring that participants have an active protective order against an abuser can be counterproductive as that process may reveal their new address to their abuser, and it’s noted the vast majority of domestic abuse victims don’t obtain a protective order,” Sec. Adams said. 

This piece of legislation has the support of the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

“Now not all survivors need this to happen, but for those who live in daily fear that their ex-partner will somehow find them, Senate Bill 79 and the Safe At Home program will provide a helpful tool for helping them stay safe,” Angela Yannelli, CEO of Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said. 

SB 79 would bring Kentucky law in line with programs already in place in 38 other states. 

It will also not cost taxpayers anything. 

“It will cost people who have been convicted of these horrible crimes, they’ll be the ones that finance this program,” Sec. Adams said. 

The bill has been given a committee assignment but has yet to be scheduled for discussion.