First Lady Britainy Beshear places a candle, symbolizing a life lost to domestic violence, during the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation Signing’s Speak My Name ceremony on October 18, 2023 at the State Capitol Rotunda.
ZeroV’s organization focused on centering survivors in their Best Practices and Policy Recommendations for data collection.
— Angela Yannelli
FRANKFORT, KY, UNITED STATES, November 2, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — ZeroV, formerly the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, has released its Best Practices and Policy Recommendations for improving Kentucky’s Annual Domestic Violence Data Report. These best practices and recommendations were submitted upon request from the legislature, which established the annual report by law in 2022. ZeroV’s Best Practices and Policy Recommendations focus on data collection and how stakeholders can improve and provide more clarity around the data that is in the report.
ZeroV states that this inaugural Annual Domestic Violence Data Report is a critical first step toward solving the public health crisis of intimate partner violence (IPV) and that we can gain an even better understanding of the issue by looking for data that demonstrates the impact of IPV in addition to its prevalence.
The annual report states that “45.3% of women and 35.5% of men in Kentucky have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” Although the rates of IPV are relatively similar for both men and women, there is a stark contrast in impact. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 33.6% of women who have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking in their lifetimes also reported at least one impact to their health or welfare because of the violence. In contrast, only 13.7% of Kentucky men reported similar experiences.
“It is important to realize that there are significant differences between women’s and men’s experience of intimate partner violence, even though the rates of violence are high for both,” ZeroV CEO Angela Yannelli says. “The ultimate goal of this effort is to get reliable, consistent statewide information, including the number of Kentuckians that lost their lives due to intimate partner violence, so that we can improve intervention services and ultimately prevent IPV from happening in the first place.”
Because the 2023 Report was the first of its kind in Kentucky, collaboration was an integral component throughout the year since Senate Bill 271’s passage. Leading up to the publication of the Report on July 1, 2023, ZeroV met regularly with the Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and Kentucky State Police as the process for data collection and structure of the Report was slowly crafted. After the report was published, ZeroV met again with AOC, KSP, and other stakeholders to seek a better understanding of the data in the Report. “As this is the baseline year for this wealth of data, it was not possible to do an in-depth analysis as there was no other data similarly compiled to compare it to,” states ZeroV’s CLO Meg Savage. “Knowing that data capture is never perfect and there is always room for improvement, we chose to concentrate on the data collection systems and processes, as we understand them to be, to see if there were ways to improve what will be captured in future reports.”
Proposed best practices include creating a collective understanding of domestic violence in Kentucky through data validity and reliability, data clarity, causality and correlation, data integration, and policy considerations. ZeroV’s recommendations highlight the positive impact of collaborative efforts, a holistic approach to data quality and integration, and broadening the resources for intimate partner violence data collection, among other recommendations to enhance the Domestic Violence Data Report’s impact as a tool for reducing domestic violence in Kentucky.
However, the Domestic Violence Data Report is only part of the solution. Domestic violence is commonly underreported for many reasons, which can create conditions that make systems involvement challenging, if not impossible or life-threatening, for many survivors. “Beyond the data from courts, law enforcement, and state protective services, we must continue to find ways to support survivors who do not reach out to law enforcement or the courts for protection and help and identify the barriers such survivors face,” says Yannelli. “We know DV/IPV is underreported, and we must find a way to reach out to and help all survivors.”
Yannelli maintains ZeroV’s hope for safer futures for survivors by using data as a tool for meaningful, lasting change. “The data from this inaugural report, and future reports, will not only shed light on the prevalence of domestic violence in our Commonwealth but will illuminate pathways forward for survivors and a future for Kentucky where domestic violence no longer exists.”