Mission: To promote safe and healthy individuals and families through the prevention of interpersonal and family violence.
History and Function:
In 1985, a United Way of the Bluegrass study group, chaired by the director of the local domestic violence shelter, identified a need for a local council to be established to coordinate a broad-based community effort aimed at preventing domestic violence. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) responded in 1986 by creating the Domestic Violence Prevention Board (DVPB) through ordinance to coordinate and strengthen the response of the Fayette County community to domestic violence and sexual assault. Through the joint efforts of LFUCG and United Way of the Bluegrass, an Executive Director was hired in 1987. The part-time director’s position is the only staff position. Office space and clerical support are provided by LFUCG. All members serve on a voluntary basis. The DVPB has 7 appointed and 24 ex-officio members; however, approximately 50 people serve on DVPB committees.
The DVPB is composed of representatives of the primary agencies and organizations that address family/interpersonal violence, elected officials, and interested citizens, including survivors of domestic violence. The DVPB is not a direct service agency, although information and referral services are provided when individuals call for help and the DVPB assists with the development of programs and services in other agencies through federal and state grants administered by LFUCG. The five goals of the DVPB are:
- To develop and facilitate an effective community-wide system of prevention and intervention that is responsive to the needs of victims of family and interpersonal violence;
- To identify and coordinate the roles and services of local agencies or offices which provide services to family/interpersonal violence victims and perpetrators;
- To monitor, evaluate, and promote the quality and effectiveness of services and protections in the community;
- To promote a clear understanding of family and interpersonal violence, current laws, and resources available in the community; and
- To serve as a clearinghouse for information on family/interpersonal violence issues.
The primary work of the DVPB is accomplished through three standing committees: Child Abuse, Partner Abuse, and Adult Abuse Committees. These committees continually assess the status of services in Fayette County, identify gaps, duplications, and problems in the service system, and make policy and program recommendations to address identified concerns. The DVPB establishes ad hoc committees on an as needed basis, and currently staffs the Domestic Violence Fatality/Near Fatality Review Team and committees established to oversee two federal grant projects.
Since FY 2004, the Director of the DVPB has worked with the Department of Community Development and the Division of Police to bring over $1.7 million in federal grant funds to LFUCG to enhance victim safety and offender accountability, and to establish needed services for families. These monies have funded projects and services in the Division of Police, the Friend of the Court Office in Fayette Family Court and in partner agencies such as Sunflower Kids, the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program and the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center.
Other examples of DVPB projects and activities of DVPB include
- Facilitating ongoing interagency discussion on domestic violence issues through meetings of standing and ad hoc committees of the DVPB;
- Acting as an antenna for the community, identifying areas of concern and facilitating discussion and plans of action to address those concerns.
- Sponsoring community and interagency roundtable discussions on topics such as protective orders, stalking and offender treatment;
- Organizing training for local professionals, targeted professionals (e.g., health care providers, faith community leaders, educators, attorneys) and community groups to raise awareness and address training needs as identified;
- Developing informational materials on family and interpersonal violence, including safety plans (for victims and children), resource guides (for domestic violence, child abuse, and older/disabled adults), dating violence and sexual assault prevention bookmarks and brochures, materials for a domestic violence “restroom project”, a guide for caregivers to prevent abuse, and a guide for victims of domestic violence beginning the divorce process;
- Initiating free cell phone and ADT Alarm system programs for victims of domestic violence;
- Holding candidates forums for contested public offices that affect interpersonal and family violence;
- Sponsoring an annual legislative email network to disseminate information during sessions regarding legislative proposals to the Ky. General Assembly;
- Spearheading community effort to address intimate partner stalking;
- Facilitating a project to install informational materials on domestic violence and community resources in women’s restrooms in businesses, schools, places of worship, and public facilities;
- Organizing press conferences to highlight local efforts and new programs;
- Facilitating the development of a domestic violence protocol for Fayette County criminal justice agencies;
- Initiating a court order monitoring program to provide some oversight on protective orders;
- Developing workplace/domestic violence model policy and training curriculum for LFUCG and local businesses;
- Designing and implementing a dating violence awareness and prevention project targeting middle and high school students;
- Encouraging student and volunteer involvement in interpersonal/family violence prevention efforts.
Domestic Violence Prevention Board Officers:
- Kathy Witt, Chair
- Rashmi Adi-Brown, Vice-Chair
- Anita Capillo, Secretary
- Beth Mills, Treasurer
Follow this link for a complete list of Board Members.
2011 Domestic Violence Prevention Board Annual Report
The Domestic Violence Prevention Board provides a community forum for interagency communication and community discussion of domestic violence, interagency coordination and accountability, program development, professional education, and public awareness. For more information, contact Teri Faragher at (859) 258-3803.