Stimulus money heading to Metro to help domestic violence victims - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Stimulus money heading to Metro to help domestic violence victims

Posted: Updated: April 12, 2010 05:25 PM EDT
William "Gerry" Seidl William "Gerry" Seidl
Keith Scanlon Keith Scanlon
Gov. Steve  Beshear Gov. Steve Beshear
Rep. John Yarmuth Rep. John Yarmuth
Louisville, KY -

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Stimulus money is still rolling into Kentucky and $1.6 million of it is going to help domestic violence and sexual assault victims across the state. Across the Commonwealth, 22 different programs will get money to help prosecution, buy new equipment, and even go towards a sexual assault nurse examiner program. The Metro is using its money to pilot a program to make government more efficient. 

One in four women and one in nine men are victims of domestic violence each year. A recent high profile case found 70-year-old William "Gerry" Seidl guilty of wanton murder for shooting his wife, Dorene, five times. She tried to get a protective order before that, but the judge denied it.

"You know when a woman goes to court and says that she's having trouble, she has a battered relationship, the judges need to be a little bit more considerate about what they need," said Keith Scanlon, the victim's son-in-law. 

Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY 3rd) announced $170,000 will go to a new pilot project in the Metro that will make it easier for victims to get protection by making it electronic. 

"In 2006, over 10,000 emergency protective orders and almost 26,000 domestic violence protective orders were issued in Kentucky's district courts," said Beshear. "It's easy to see how the system can get bogged down." 

In 2009, victims would have to go back and forth between two building and filing EPO could take days. Now it's all in one private office, but still needs to be hand delivered between departments. The next step is using the grant to develop software that could have a judge sign the order in minutes.

"This grant will eliminate time as an impediment and make it an asset instead," said Beshear. 

The funding comes from stimulus money because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the economy loses $4 billion each year through loss of productivity, absenteeism, and health care costs. 

"Just as we have made an investment in infrastructure, infrastructure is not just roads and street lights and bike paths and so forth, it's also our security network in this country," said Yarmuth. 

The new software was set to launch February 2011. 

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